Skip to content Skip to cookie consent
Skip to content

Tools and guides

Disaster preparedness toolkit

Tools to help you prepare for disasters and their potential impact on your community

2023 Available in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese

Rural village scene with community members sitting in a circle, looking at four people standing with a hand drawn community map. One person points to the map and explains what is shown.

Members of the Planning Committee for a rural Malawian village hold a meeting with community members to explain their plans for future development. Photo: Alex Baker/Tearfund

Tearfund’s disaster preparedness plan is a seven-step process designed at the country organisational level, as opposed to the community level, which enables us to consider questions that are all too often left until after an emergency has occurred. 

By considering these questions in advance it helps to support quality, timely and effective interventions prior to a disaster event. It also gives country teams the chance to invest in capacity development, which is a key part of disaster risk reduction.

In its most basic form, disaster preparedness planning is where we ask ourselves these three basic questions:

  1. What is most likely to happen in our context? (understanding our context and building our scenario)
  2. What are we going to do about it? (building our response)
  3. What can we do ahead of time to get prepared? (building our preparedness plan)

Disaster preparedness planning can be done for a country as a whole on an annual basis, or specifically when the impact of a potential hazard is imminent (eg deteriorating security conditions; hurricane/cyclone seasonal warnings). 

Disaster preparedness plan guidance


  • The purpose of completing the disaster preparedness plan is to enable Tearfund country teams to think through, in advance of a disaster event, what hazards their context is likely to be exposed to, and begin to plan the kind of disaster response they would like to be engaged in. 
  • The end result of the plan is to provide country teams with a series of activities, or next steps, which they can engage with over the coming year to see their country office and partners better equipped and prepared for future disasters.

Toolkit contents

  • Disaster preparedness plan guidance
  • Planning Template (editable)
  • C1 - Early warning indicators and early action guidance questions
  • C2 - Response activities guidance questions
  • D1 - Disaster preparedness action plan guidance questions
  • Severity indicators
  • Early warning - anticipatory actions examples
  • GUIDE - Environmental assessments in humanitarian response
  • TOOL - Environmental assessments in humanitarian contexts

Other languages

Share this resource

If you found this resource useful, please share it with others so they can benefit too.

Get our email updates

Be the first to hear about our latest learning and resources

Sign up now - Get our email updates

Cookie preferences

Your privacy and peace of mind are important to us. We are committed to keeping your data safe. We only collect data from people for specific purposes and once that purpose has finished, we won’t hold on to the data.

For further information, including a full list of individual cookies, please see our privacy policy.

  • These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

  • These cookies allow us to measure and improve the performance of our site. All information these cookies collect is anonymous.

  • These allow for a more personalised experience. For example, they can remember the region you are in, as well as your accessibility settings.

  • These cookies help us to make our adverts personalised to you and allow us to measure the effectiveness of our campaigns.