Skip over global navigation links
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Response and recovery from natural disasters

Natural disasters can have devastating effects on the health of those in their paths. ASPR leads the federal government’s public health and medical response and recovery. When natural disasters strike, ASPR works with state and local officials to respond to the immediate health needs of residents when local resources are overwhelmed.

Disasters also can cause mental and behavioral health needs for survivors that last long after the storm passes, which can be especially difficult for children trying to cope with disasters. Since it was established 10 years ago, ASPR has developed critical resources to help address all health impacts of disasters and to protect our most vulnerable citizens.

ASPR has applied emergency management strategies and principles to the healthcare and public health sector and established greater regional collaborations and partnerships to improve our nation’s disaster health response. The goals of these efforts are to create a healthcare system that can better anticipate and address the healthcare needs of residents during natural disasters and communities that are more resilient following them. 

Today, ASPR coordinates with 20 HHS divisions, 16 other federal departments and agencies, as well as with state, local, tribal, territorial and private sector partners. We have active partnerships in all 10 regions and we collaborate with our partners before, during and after disasters.

Evolving from Ike to SandyStrengthening Behavioral HealthProtecting Children in DisastersBuilding Resilience

  • This page last reviewed: December 21, 2016