NACCHO Activates for Hurricanes: Information and Resources

Sep 13, 2018 | Katie Dwyer

As of 9/26/18 NACCHO deactivated its incident command for hurricane Florence. We continue to engage with federal and local partners on Florence recovery efforts and monitor other emerging weather events. Local health departments impacted by storms that have critical issues and needs related to hurricane response that they would like brought forward to federal partners should contact us at [email protected].

SITREP (as of Monday, 9/25 at 8:45 AM ET)

  • Hurricane Florence: The primary impacts of the hurricane continues to be flooding, primarily in NC, which is restricting access to major roadways. Healthcare and public health impacts include:
    • Road closures in NC impacting fuel deliveries and access to energy and communications infrastructure for repairs.
    • Two hospitals remain closed in NC; other healthcare facilities (e.g., dialysis centers, nursing homes) are still running on generators.
    • Boil water advisories are in effect for parts of NC and SC.

Hurricanes and Tropical Storms bring the threat of heavy rainfall, flooding, and strong winds. The HHS ASPR Division of Critical Infrastructure Protection is monitoring the storms and coordinating with private sector partners to identify impacts to healthcare and public health infrastructure. Main impacts to critical infrastructure reported to date include significant number of road closures limiting supply (e.g. fuel) delivery. Some long term care facilities are being evacuated.

Additionally CDC has activated its Emergency Operations Center to coordinate CDC’s response and recovery activities, as well as deploy resources and personnel if needed. Specific CDC support for public health in impacted areas must be requested through designated channels and may include shelter surveillance, risk communications, water, sanitation and safety evaluations for food and water, mold prevention and treatment, HAZMAT mitigation, and vector control.

Resources

As a partner with local health departments, NACCHO has compiled a variety of resources to help local health departments prepare for, respond to, and recover from hurricanes and flooding. These resources were developed by NACCHO and health departments to help address key public health threats during and following a hurricane or major flooding event. They are meant to complement the resources and guidance provided by federal agencies such as CDC, ASPR, and FEMA.

Preparedness, Response and Recovery Tips from HHS

  • Review the ASPR TRACIE Quick Tips Fact Sheets
  • Download the FEMA mobile app for disaster resources, weather alerts, and safety tips. The app provides a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open shelters and recovery centers, disaster survival tips, and weather alerts from the National Weather Service. The app also enables users to receive push notifications reminding them to take important steps to prepare their homes and families for disasters.
  • Businesses of all sizes should prepare for all hazards including severe weather to prevent loss of life, property, or disruption to operations. Review and update your business continuity plan and ensure your workforce knows what to do during severe weather. Resources are available on web sites such as Ready.gov/business and the Sba.gov/disaster-planning.
  • Encourage your employees to update their family emergency plan to stay connected with loved ones during severe weather while at work and develop alternate methods of communication.
  • Review and share behavioral health resources, including help lines, from SAMHSA relating to emotional distress during and after hurricanes and tropical storms.

About Katie Dwyer

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