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Preparedness Research

FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Division (ICPD) supports the FEMA Mission by connecting individuals, organizations, and communities with research and tools to build and sustain capabilities to prepare for any disaster or emergency. The Division conducts research to better understand effective preparedness actions and ways to motivate the public to take those actions. ICPD develops and shares preparedness resources and coordinates comprehensive disaster preparedness initiatives that empower communities to prepare for, protect against, respond to, and recover from a disaster. This mission is achieved through close coordination with the FEMA Regions and working relationships with federal, state, local, and tribal agencies. This includes working with nongovernmental partners from all sectors both nationally through neighborhood-based community groups.

Below are examples of the research FEMA ICPD has conducted:

Protective Action Research

ICPD conducts research to help individuals and communities prepare for, protect against, and respond to disaster by providing current, validated guidance for decision-making. FEMA has completed an assessment of more than 380 protective actions based on 275 research studies and articles by dozens of subject-matter experts covering 12 natural hazards. The results of the assessment informed the hazard guidance on the Disasters and Emergencies pages.

National Household Survey

FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Division (ICPD) conducts the annual National Household Survey (NHS) to track progress in personal disaster preparedness. ICPD uses the research findings to support the growth and improvement of national preparedness programs and initiatives. Further, the survey:

  • Measures the public’s degree of preparedness hazards they are likely to face;

  • Measures the public’s awareness, attitudes, and experiences that can motivate actions to prepare; and

  • Identifies successful mechanisms for enhancing preparedness as well as areas that need improvement.

Learn more about the annual findings from the National Household Surveys:

Last Updated: 11/23/2021