Preparedness and Safety Messaging for Hurricanes, Flooding, and Similar Disasters (Second Edition | 2022)


The right message at the right time from the right person can save lives. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Joint Information Center (JIC), as part of CDC’s Incident Management System (IMS), developed a key messages document while activated for the 2017 hurricane season response, covering health concerns related to disaster response and recovery. CDC communicators worked with subject matter experts to update it during the 2022 hurricane season.

The purpose of Preparedness and Safety Messaging for Hurricanes, Flooding, and Similar Disasters is to provide a preparedness and response resource for all jurisdictions to use before, during, and after a response. It includes information on disaster-related challenges including food safety, carbon monoxide poisoning, waterborne diseases, and mold. Jurisdictions can use the messaging document as a resource for their communication planning. Messages can be adapted for web, press releases, media talking points, social media, fact sheets, and other communications materials.

A key message document was also created specifically for response and recovery workers—Hurricane Key Messages for Employers, Workers, and Volunteers [PDF – 574 KB]. English and other language versions (Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese) of this document can be found on the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Storm, Flood, and Hurricane Response website.

How to Use this Document

Public health and emergency management partners can add the key messages document as a resource to their communication plans that address hazards expected from extreme weather involving strong wind and high water. Partners can also use these messages to develop products with protective information for diverse audiences before, during, and after a hurricane, flood, or similar disaster.

On-demand Virtual Workshop Training

CDC is offering an eLearning version of the “Preparedness and Safety Messaging for Hurricanes, Floods, and Similar Disasters Virtual Workshop.” This training will help health departments with natural disaster public health messaging.

The free, on-demand virtual training teaches participants how to use CDC’s messaging resources to develop content for various communication products and channels. The workshop includes information about how to integrate COVID-19 safety messages into storm communications. Continuing education credits are offered for the one-hour interactive workshop, which engages learners through knowledge checks, case studies, and applied exercises. Register for the training via CDC Train.

Infographic: Be Ready! HurricanesReady: Prepare. Plan. Stay Informed.Social Media at CDC Emergency