Disasters disrupt hundreds of thousands of lives every year. Every disaster has lasting effects-people are killed or seriously injured and property damage runs into the billions of dollars. If a disaster occurs in your state, local government and disaster organizations will try to help you. Local responders may not be able to reach you immediately, so being prepared and understanding what to do can reduce fear, anxiety and losses. Communities, families and individuals should know what to do in case of disaster. People can also reduce the impact of disasters and sometimes avoid the danger altogether if they are prepared.