The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is making detailed practical information on hurricane preparedness, response, and recovery available to affected communities, people displaced by the storms, and responders.
There are many potential public health and safety concerns after hurricane impact. Many injuries and illnesses from hurricanes and floods occur during the response and recovery phases. Some common hazards include vehicle- and nonvehicle-related drowning, carbon monoxide poisoning (such as from gasoline-powered engines, including generators and clean-up equipment), electrocution, falls, cuts, and exposure to mold and industrial and household chemicals.
“The aftermath of disasters such as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma can be just as dangerous as the storms themselves,” said CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D. “We encourage affected communities and responders to take advantage of the wealth of practical information CDC offers.”
As part of the overall (HHS) response and recovery operations, CDC is supporting public health and medical care functions for affected communities and those displaced by the hurricanes. CDC sent pharmacy and federal medical station supplies to Texas, Louisiana and Florida. CDC has also activated and deployed members of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (PHSCC) and other staff to provide technical support for critical public health functions. Field operations and CDC’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) 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.
Guidance and other resources to assist in addressing many of these hazards and risk are available from CDC both online and through CDC’s information service, CDC-INFO. Live agents provide up-to-date science-based health information. CDC-INFO can be reached Monday – Friday 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. Services are available in English and Spanish.
CDC and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) also offers a disaster response clinical consultation service to assist healthcare providers, public health professionals, and emergency response partners. This service is accessed by emailing CDC IMS Clinical Inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org.