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Preparedness and Safety Messaging for Hurricanes, Flooding, and Similar Disasters

Preparedness and Safety Messaging for Hurricanes, Flooding, and Similar Disasters

The right message at the right time from the right person can save lives. Every natural disaster is unique and emergency responders have to quickly adapt to the ever-changing nature of a crisis. To be able to more quickly and effectively disseminate messages before, during, and after an emergency, many key messages can be written in the preparedness phase. CDC developed a reference document that contains key messages on hurricane and flood related health threats.

The Preparedness and Safety Messaging for Hurricanes, Flooding, and Similar Disasters (Spanish) can help local responders quickly create and adapt health communication products for affected communities. The document contains messages on various topics including food safety, carbon monoxide poisoning, waterborne diseases, and mold.

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.

Contents

Prepare Before a Hurricane of Severe Flooding

  • Make a Plan – pg. 7
  • Prepare an Emergency Food Supply – pg. 7
  • Prepare an Emergency Water Supply – pg. 8
  • Safety and Personal Care Products – pg. 9
  • Prepare Your Family for the Storm – pg. 10
  • Get Your Home Ready for the Storm – pg. 11
  • Prepare Your Car for the Storm – pg. 11
  • Evacuate or Stay at Home – pg. 12

Prevent Illness after a Hurricane or Severe Storm

  • Flood Water Safety – pg. 13
  • Stay Safe In Extreme Heat – pg. 14
  • Protect Yourself From Air Pollution – pg. 14
  • Odor – pg. 15
  • Personal Hygiene and Handwashing – pg. 15
  • Diarrheal Diseases – pg. 16
  • Tetanus – pg. 16
  • Wound Infections – pg. 17
  • Food and Water Safety After A Storm – pg. 19
  • Food – pg. 19
  • Water – pg. 21
  • Cleaning and Preparing Personal Water Storage Containers – pg. 23
  • Medications – pg. 25
  • Stay Safe In A Shelter Or In Crowded Living Conditions – pg. 25
  • Body Lice – pg. 26
  • Scabies – pg. 26
  • Conjunctivitis – pg. 27

Returning Home

  • Cleaning and Sanitizing Your Home – pg. 28
  • Mold – pg. 29
  • Clean-up Safely Outside the Home – pg. 31
  • Solid Waste Management and Debris Removal – pg. 32
  • Chemical and Oil Exposure – pg. 32

Mosquitoes and Hurricanes

  • Prevent Mosquito Bites – pg. 34
  • West Nile – pg. 34
  • Dengue – pg. 35
  • Zika – pg. 35

Prevent Injury after a Disaster

  • Power Outages and Electrical Dangers – pg. 35
  • Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning – pg. 37
  • Chainsaw Safety – pg. 38
  • Animal Hazards – pg. 38
  • Landslides and Mudslides – pg. 41
  • Coping with Disaster – pg. 43
  • Feelings of Depression or Suicidal Thoughts – pg. 44
  • Helping Children Cope – pg. 44

Immunizations

  • Recommendations Following Disaster – pg. 45
  • Impact of Power Outage On Vaccine Storage – pg. 46

At-Risk Populations

  • Pregnant Women – pg. 47
  • Postpartum Women – pg. 48
  • Breastfeeding Mothers – pg. 49
  • Infants – pg. 49
  • Children – pg. 50
  • Older Adults – pg. 51
  • People with Disabilities – pg. 51
  • People with Chronic Illness – pg. 52

Pet Safety

  • Pet Safety – pg. 56
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