Disasters disrupt hundreds of thousands of lives every year. Each disaster has lasting effects--people are seriously injured, some are killed, and property damage runs into the billions of dollars. Being prepared and understanding what to do can reduce fear, anxiety, and losses that accompany disasters. Communities, families and individuals should know what to do in a fire and where to seek shelter in a tornado. They should be ready to evacuate their homes, take refuge in public shelters and know how to care for their basic medical needs. This guide provides practical information on citizen preparedness for different types of disasters. It was developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the agency responsible for responding to national disasters and for helping state and local governments and individuals prepare for emergencies. It contains step-by-step advice on how to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. Sections of this guide address various natural hazards as well as technological and man-made hazards.