Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, & Maria

2017 | August 31, 2017 – May 18, 2018

CDC’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) activated to bring together CDC staff to work efficiently in responding to public health needs in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

During September 2017, Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated Puerto Rico (PR) and the US Virgin Islands (USVI) in the Caribbean.

Hurricane Irma was a category five storm with winds as high as 185 miles per hour. It devastated much of the USVI and brushed PR, causing severe damages, floods, and widespread power outages.

green grass

Two weeks later, Hurricane Maria landed in the USVI and PR as a category four storm, causing additional damages to the territories. The combined impact from these two hurricanes collapsed the entire power grid and damaged many homes.

CDC provided technical assistance and consultation to affected states, local, tribal health departments and partners for environmental health, Epi/surveillance, occupational health, and injury prevention. Additionally, the agency assisted with:

  • public health messaging about post-hurricane response and recovery needs
  • guidance concerning responder safety issues
  • planning for recovery operations and reestablishment of public health infrastructure
  • public health and medical response support in affected areas
  • planning for potential impacts of monitored Atlantic tropical cyclones and disturbances