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Coronavirus Emergency Management Best Practices

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COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation. We've compiled the best practices and lessons learned that communities have already faced fighting COVID-19.  This collection is not exhaustive, but we will continue to add content and highlight key areas where communities can benefit from learning.

We encourage all emergency managers to review our latest COVID-19 fact sheets for details on federal assistance programs and guidelines.

Organizations can email best practices or lessons learned to

FEMA does not endorse any non-government entities, organizations, or services. Claims made by third parties have not been independently verified by FEMA.


Get the latest public health information on coronavirus at

Helping People

During a pandemic it is common for individuals to feel emotional unrest. Healthcare systems and various organizations are taking measures toward providing aid and guidance for individuals with existing mental health conditions as well as those experiencing enhanced emotional distress during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The pandemic has changed how families and friends mourn and remember those who pass. This provides ideas and strategies to facilitate that process.

Managing volunteers during a pandemic requires new safety considerations and supporting critical roles in helping those around the country.

Millions of Americans rely on a range of at-home and community-based food services. Sustain and expand home delivered meal programs to meet nutritional needs of at-risk individuals.

IPAWS provides a medium for jurisdictions to disseminate life safety information to their residents during COVID-19.

Civil rights laws and legal authorities remain in effect during emergencies. All governments and disaster assistance organizations must anticipate and attend to civil rights concerns during COVID-19 response and recovery.

People across the nation are experiencing unprecedented conditions and it is important for them to have the resources to maintain their mental health.

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program has brought volunteers from local communities to help those around them by providing services and supporting healthcare systems during COVID-19 operations.

Other Resources

Government Operations

To help emergency managers and public health officials prepare for the 2020 hurricane season and other disasters during COVID-19.

The pandemic has led to altered operating environments and procedures for the coordination of emergency operations.

All-Hazards Incident Management Teams provide staffing and coordination roles that can augment jurisdictional operations.

As COVID-19 has led to increased 9-1-1 calls, jurisdictions may need to think through nontraditional means of supporting callers and addressing the additional requirements.

During COVID-19 operations, government communications to residents is important and it is necessary to consider a variety of accessible mediums.

Continuity of Operations (COOP) is important to maintaining essential functions. It’s important to be flexible in your COOP procedures during COVID-19.

The National Guard serves as an importance resource to states and local communities and has stepped into a variety of roles to help during COVID-19 operations.

Given pandemic-related social distancing and the effects to the population from COVID-19, casualty management planning is important for jurisdictions to consider as part of their operational response.

Other Resources

Private Sector and Infrastructure

Contactless delivery methods and specialized vending systems throughout the U.S. and internationally are dispensing necessary resources such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and food.

There are considerations to help reduce the risk of those serving in healthcare potentially exposing their family and friends.
For those relying on public transportation, social distancing and other measures can help reduce the risk of exposure and spreading the disease.
The InfraGard National Disaster Resilience Council Members share this compilation of best practices for Food Stores given the important role they play in the nation.
The supply chain is dependent on the commercial trucking industry. Maintaining and sustaining their functionality is important to the transport of resources across the country.

Recovery Planning and Implementation

Organizations across the nation are grappling with when and how to resume operations while protecting the well-being and safety of their employees and communities.

The recently released Disaster Financial Management Guide can help a jurisdiction successfully use all available federal resources for disaster recovery, including the COVID-19 Supplemental Funding.

Identify emergency protective measures for COVID-19 that may adversely affect natural, historic, and/or archaeological resources. Learn how to comply with environmental and historic preservation laws, regulations, and executive orders.

There are significant short and long-term actions needed to stabilize and re-invigorate the economy due to COVID-19.

Other Resources

Medical Supplies and Equipment

A summary of best practices for sustaining personal protective equipment (PPE) while ensuring workers are protected during the COVID-19 pandemic response.

Jurisdictions should consider what actions they can take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and creatively think about how they can meet resource requirements.

Other Resources

Last Updated: 
05/28/2020 - 18:09