Managing Chaos: A Disaster Planner’s Handbook

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s “Managing Chaos,” an evidence-based planning handbook, is now online at the new NYC Public Health Emergency Network. View the handbook and its accompanying tools, checklists and templates now.

Following is a preview of the handbook:

Our secret fears are true: We write emergency plans that nobody reads. But it’s worse than that.

Done wrong (and most of us do it sort of wrong), disaster planning creates complicated documents full of specific actions that make us feel prepared but really just perpetuate a fantasy world. Poor planning makes disaster response worse – bureaucratic, slow, with a false sense of security and stubborn leaders that won’t innovate when we need them most.

But good emergency planning is desperately important. This handbook and its accompanying tools, checklists and templates will walk you through a planning process that compiles the best evidence-based planning techniques into one readable guide.

Please check it out! We don’t claim it’s perfect – but as preparedness folk, we’d like to help the field as much as we can. We’re always looking for feedback, too, so send your thoughts in to

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