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Hurricane Season Public Health Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Guidance for Health Care Providers, Response and Recovery Workers, and Affected Communities — CDC, 2017





CDC 2017 Hurricane Incident Management System Team1 (View author affiliations)

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CDC and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) have guidance and technical materials available in both English and Spanish to help communities prepare for hurricanes and floods (Table 1). To help protect the health and safety of the public, responders, and clean-up workers during response and recovery operations from hurricanes and floods, CDC and ATSDR have developed public health guidance and other resources; many are available in both English and Spanish (Table 2).

Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas coast on August 25, 2017, as a Category 4 storm. In southeast Texas, record rainfall caused extensive flooding and damage to public infrastructure and communities, and displaced thousands of persons. As of September 12, 2017, the media have reported >80 storm-related deaths attributed to Hurricane Harvey (medical examiner confirmation is pending for some deaths). Most of these deaths likely were caused by drowning in flood waters within the first few days after impact (e.g., drowning at home or in vehicles).

On September 7, 2017, a Category 5 hurricane, Irma, reached the Lesser Antilles, including the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Hurricane Irma then continued its path across the Greater Antilles and made landfall in south Florida on September 10, 2017. Irma’s hurricane-force winds and related storm surges caused substantial damage in the Caribbean and Florida.

Many areas in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, and the U.S. territories affected by these storms are still experiencing disruptions in essential services, including electricity, potable water, food, and communications. Numerous health care and public health systems sustained damage. Environmental health impacts from the hurricanes included effects on industries, chemical plants, and hazardous waste sites. Many displaced persons remain in shelters or other temporary housing.

As part of the overall U.S. Department of Health and Human Services response and recovery operations, CDC and ATSDR are supporting public health and medical care functions for affected communities and persons displaced by the hurricanes. As of September 12, 2017, CDC and ATSDR had sent pharmacy and federal medical station supplies to Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. CDC and ATSDR have also activated and deployed members of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and other personnel to provide technical support for critical public health functions. Field operations and the CDC and ATSDR Emergency Operations Center are supporting mortality and morbidity surveillance; public health messaging and risk communication; water, sanitation, safety, and facility assessments; community rapid needs assessments; mold abatement; industrial and residential contaminant exposure prevention; and vector control.

There are potential public health and safety concerns after hurricane impact. Many injuries and illnesses from hurricanes and floods occur during the response and recovery phases. Common hazards include vehicle- and nonvehicle-related drowning, carbon monoxide poisoning (e.g., from any gasoline-powered engine, including generators and clean-up equipment), electrocution, falls, lacerations, and exposure to mold and industrial and household chemicals (18). In addition, exacerbation of existing chronic conditions and development of acute mental health symptoms are frequent reasons for seeking health care services following a disaster (911). Guidance and other resources to assist in addressing many of these hazards and risk are available (Table 2).

CDC and ATSDR also offer a disaster response clinical consultation service to assist health care providers, public health professionals, and emergency response partners. This service can be accessed by emailing CDC IMS Clinical Inquiries at eocevent168@cdc.gov.

For additional assistance, health care providers, public health professionals, and members of the public can also use CDC and ATSDR’s information service, CDC-INFO. Live agents provide up-to-date science-based health information. CDC-INFO can be reached Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time at 1–800-CDC-INFO (1–800–232–4636) or by submitting a web-based form (https://wwwn.cdc.gov/dcs/ContactUs/Form). Services are available in English and Spanish.

Conflict of Interest

No conflicts of interest were reported.


Corresponding author: CDC Joint Information Center Administrator, eocjicad@cdc.gov.

1Emergency Operations Center, CDC.

References

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Return to your place in the textTABLE 1. English and Spanish community guidance for preparing for hurricanes and floods — CDC, 2017
English En Español
Information about hurricanes and other tropical storms
https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/index.html
Huracanes y otras tormentas tropicales
https://www.cdc.gov/es/disasters/hurricanes/index.html
Preparations before a hurricane
https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/before.html
Antes de un huracán
https://www.cdc.gov/es/disasters/hurricanes/before.html
Family, health, and safety preparation
https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/supplies.html
Obtenga suministros
https://www.cdc.gov/es/disasters/hurricanes/supplies.html
Key facts about flood readiness
https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/floods/readiness.html
Datos importantes sobre los preparativos para una inundación
https://www.cdc.gov/es/disasters/floods/readiness.html
Return to your place in the textTABLE 2. English and Spanish guidance for response and recovery from hurricanes and floods, by primary target audience — CDC, 2017
English En Español
General audience
Be safe after a hurricane*
https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/be-safe-after.html
Manténgase a salvo después de un huracán
https://www.cdc.gov/es/disasters/hurricanes/be-safe-after.html
After a hurricane
https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/after.html
Después de un huracán
https://www.cdc.gov/es/disasters/hurricanes/after.html
Floods (general information)
https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/floods/index.html
Información sobre inundaciones
https://www.cdc.gov/es/disasters/floods/index.html
After a flood
https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/floods/after.html
Después de una inundación
https://www.cdc.gov/es/disasters/floods/after.html
Flood waters or standing waters health risks
https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/emergency/extreme-weather/floods-standingwater.html
Agua de la inundación después de un desastre o una emergencia
https://www.cdc.gov/es/disasters/floods/cleanupwater.html
Building and facilities damage: health risks
https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/emergency/extreme-weather/building-damage.html
Cleaning up your home after a disaster or emergency
https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/cleanup-home.html
Limpiar tu casa después de un desastre o emergencia Limpie su casa
https://www.cdc.gov/es/disasters/hurricanes/cleanup-home.html
Generator and furnace safety
https://www.cdc.gov/co/pdfs/Generators.pdf https://www.cdc.gov/co/pdfs/Furnace.pdf
Seguridad con los Generadores y Calentadores
https://www.cdc.gov/co/pdfs/flyers_Spanish.pdf
Pressure washer safety
https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/pressurewashersafety.html
Carbon monoxide poisoning§
https://www.cdc.gov/co/pdfs/Flyer_Danger.pdf
Intoxicación por monóxido de carbono
https://www.cdc.gov/co/pdfs/campaign_flyer_ES.pdf
Carbon monoxide poisoning FAQs
https://www.cdc.gov/co/faqs.htm
Intoxicación con Monóxido de Carbono Preguntas Frecuente
https://www.cdc.gov/co/es/faqs.htm
Chemical hazards: asbestos in your environment: what you can do to limit exposure
https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/docs/limitingenvironmentalexposures_factsheet-508.pdf
ToxFAQ for asbestos
https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/tf.asp?id = 29&tid = 4
ToxFAQs Asbesto (Amianto)
https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/es/toxfaqs/es_tfacts61.html
Chemical hazards: mercury
https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/dontmesswithmercury/index.html
No te metas con mercurio
https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/dontmesswithmercury/es/index.html
Chemical hazards: lead
https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/tips.htm
Lo que debe saber sobre el envenenamiento del plomo
https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/tools/know_the_factsspanish.pdf
Coping with a disaster or traumatic event
https://emergency.cdc.gov/coping/index.asp
Cómo enfrentar un desastre o evento traumático
https://emergency.cdc.gov/es/coping/index.asp
Food safety for infants after a disaster
https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/recommendations/food-safety-for-infants-after-a-disaster.html
Asegúrese de que los alimentos y el agua se puedan consumir sin correr riesgo (Cómo alimentar a su bebé)
https://www.cdc.gov/es/disasters/hurricanes/foodwater.html
Keep food and water safe after a disaster
https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/foodwater/facts.html
Asegúrese de que los alimentos y el agua se puedan consumir sin correr riesgo
https://www.cdc.gov/es/disasters/hurricanes/foodwater.html
Personal hygiene and handwashing after a disaster or emergency
https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/floods/sanitation.html
Higiene personal y lavado de manos después de un desastre o emergencia
https://www.cdc.gov/es/disasters/floods/sanitation.html
Extreme heat
https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/index.html
Calor Extremo y Su Salud
https://www.cdc.gov/extremeheat/espanol/index_esp.html
Homeowner’s and renter’s guide to mold cleanup after disasters
https://www.cdc.gov/mold/pdfs/homeowners_and_renters_guide.pdf
Guía del propietario y arrendatario para la limpieza de moho después de desastres
https://www.cdc.gov/mold/pdfs/IEPWG_Mold_Homeowners_and_Renters_Spanish_508.pdf
Get rid of mold
https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/pdf/flyer-get-rid-of-mold.pdf
Elimine el moho
https://www.cdc.gov/es/disasters/hurricanes/pdf/flyer-get-rid-of-mold.pdf
Mold FAQs
https://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm
Preguntas más frecuentes sobre molde
https://www.cdc.gov/mold/es/faqs.htm
Ready Wrigley Prepares for Storm and Flood Recovery (a resource for children)
https://www.cdc.gov/phpr/readywrigley/documents/17_279940_Ready_Wrigley_mold_508.pdf
More resources for families
https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/more-resources.html
Más recursos para las familias
https://www.cdc.gov/es/disasters/hurricanes/more-resources.html
Public service announcements (PSAs)
https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/psa.html
Anuncios de servicio público (PSA)
https://www.cdc.gov/es/disasters/hurricanes/psa.html
Health care professionals
Medical care of ill disaster evacuees: additional diagnoses to consider
https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/medcare.html
Medical management and patient advisement after a disaster
https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/management.html
Clinical guidance for carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning after a disaster
https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/co_guidance.html
Directrices clínicas para la intoxicación por monóxido de carbono (CO) después de un desastre
https://www.cdc.gov/es/disasters/co_guidance.html
Safety information for health care professionals
https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/hcp.html
Información de seguridad para los profesionales de la salud
https://www.cdc.gov/es/disasters/hurricanes/hcp.html
Public health professionals and response workers
Emergency: response resources for storm, flood, and hurricane response
https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/emres/flood.html
NIOSH advierte sobre los peligros de limpieza después de una inundación
https://www.cdc.gov/spanish/NIOSH/docs/94-123_sp/
Death scene investigation after natural disaster or other weather-related events: a toolkit
https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/hsb/disaster/docs/DeathSceneInvestigation508.pdf
Public health assessment and surveillance after a disaster
https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/surveillance/
Formas de vigilancia de mortalidad relacionadas con desastres están disponibles en español
https://www.cdc.gov/es/disasters/surveillance/pdf/disaster-mortality-instructions.pdf
https://www.cdc.gov/es/disasters/surveillance/pdf/disaster-mortality-form.pdf
Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER)
https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/hsb/disaster/casper/
Emergency Responder Health Monitoring and Surveillance (ERHMS)
https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/erhms/default.html
Assessment of Chemical Exposures (ACE) toolkit
https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/ntsip/ace_toolkit.html
Chemical hazards: lead information for workers
https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/lead/safe.html
Instituto Nacional para la Seguridad y Salud Ocupacional (NIOSH) plomo
https://www.cdc.gov/spanish/niosh/topics/plomo.html
Chemical hazards: resources for emergency responders for chemical or radioactive materials
https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/emres/chemagent.html
https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/substances/ToxEmergency.asp
Seguridad de productos químicos
https://www.cdc.gov/spanish/niosh/topics/quimicos.html
Preventing carbon monoxide poisoning from small gasoline-powered engines and tools
https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/96-118/
Prevención de envenenamiento con monóxido de carbono producido por herramientas y equipos con motores pequeños de gasoline
https://www.cdc.gov/spanish/niosh/docs/96-118_sp/
Heat and outdoor workers https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/workers.html Los trabajadores al aire libre y el calor
https://www.cdc.gov/extremeheat/espanol/workers_esp.html
Indoor environmental quality
https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/indoorenv/
Indoor environmental quality: preventing occupational respiratory disease from exposures caused by dampness in office buildings, schools, and other nonindustrial buildings
https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2013-102/
Prevención de enfermedades respiratorias ocupacionales por exposición causadas por la humedad en edificios de oficinas, escuelas y otros edificios no industriales
https://www.cdc.gov/spanish/niosh/docs/2013-102_sp/
Indoor environmental quality: recommendations for the cleaning and remediation of flood-contaminated HVAC systems: a guide for building owners and managers
https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/emres/Cleaning-Flood-HVAC.html
Safety: guidance on personal protective equipment and clothing for flood cleanup workers
https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/emres/ppe-flood.html
Equipo de protección personal y la ropa para las personas que trabajan en la limpieza después de las inundaciones
https://www.cdc.gov/spanish/niosh/topics/flood_sp/ppe-flood_sp.html
Safety: information for response and cleanup workers
https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/workers.html
Información de seguridad para trabajadores de respuesta a emergencias y de limpieza
https://www.cdc.gov/es/disasters/hurricanes/workers.html
Worker safety after a flood
https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/floods/workersafety.html
Seguridad de los trabajadores después de una inundación
https://www.cdc.gov/es/disasters/floods/workersafety.html
Traumatic incident stress: symptoms and recommendations for responders
https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/traumaticincident/
Estrés por sucesos traumáticos: Información para el personal de emergencia
https://www.cdc.gov/spanish/niosh/docs/2002-107_sp/
Tree removal: preventing chain saw injuries during tree removal after a disaster
https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/chainsaws.html
Cómo prevenir lesiones causadas por motosierras después de un desastre
https://www.cdc.gov/es/disasters/psa/chainsaw.html
Tree removal: preventing falls and electrocutions during tree trimming
https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/92-106/
Retiro de árbol: prevención de caídas y electrocuciones durante la poda de árboles
https://www.cdc.gov/spanish/niosh/docs/92-106_sp/

* Information on this webpage is available in 11 different languages.
Currently not available in Spanish.
§ This fact sheet is available in six additional languages, available at https://www.cdc.gov/co/factsheets.htm.

Suggested citation for this article: . Hurricane Season Public Health Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Guidance for Health Care Providers, Response and Recovery Workers, and Affected Communities — CDC, 2017. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 13 September 2017. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6637e1.

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