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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Major East Coast Flooding

Historic flooding has stuck parts of the east coast this year during a series of storms.  If you or your loved ones live in a flooded area, learn to stay safe.  If you have to come into contact with floodwaters while you are cleaning up, be sure that you wear protective clothing, like gloves and heavy boots.  Find out how you can get rid of mold, make sure that your food is safe to eat, prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, and take other steps to stay safe.

Finding Shelter and Reuniting with Loved Ones

If you need to find a shelter, Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362. Have friends or family that need to find shelter? Send this information to them via text.  If you and your loved ones become separated, Red Cross Safe and Well may be able to help you find one another.

Staying Safe while Cleaning up

It's no surprise that hurricanes and floods can bring debris, contaminated water, and mold. Be sure you are ready to clean up safely.   Avoid floodwaters, be sure that you wear the appropriate protective clothing, like heavy boots and gloves.  

Food and Water Safety

After a disaster, food can get contaminated by floodwaters and refrigerated food can become spoiled.  If you are wondering "Can I eat that?", don't guess!  Find out how to keep food safe during and after an emergency.  Learn what to keep and what to toss.

Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning and Disease

Following a generator, people can be exposed to environmental toxins, carbon monoxide, waterborne illnesses and other hazards.  Learning to operate generators safely, learning how to properly use alternative sources of energy and fuel, avoiding floodwaters and taking other safety precautions can go a long way toward helping you stay safe and healthy during and after a hurricane.

Considerations for People with Chronic Conditions or Disabilities

If you or a loved one has a chronic condition or a disability, your emergency plan may need a few extra steps.  Be sure that your emergency supplies includes enough medication to help you weather the storm.  If you rely on dialysis, get treated before the storm strikes and learn about a renal diet.  Learn about the medications that you use and if there are any special disaster considerations. For example, did you know that some forms of insulin can be stored at room temperature during an emergency?  Learn how you can best safeguard the medications you rely on to stay healthy in a disaster and every day.

Mental Health

When disaster strikes, it is normal for you to feel stressed, worried or angery. With support from community and family, most of us bounce back. However, some may need extra help coping. If you are experiencing emotional distress due to the storm, call the National Disaster Distress Helpline. This toll-free, multilingual, crisis support service is available 24/7 via telephone (1-800-985-5990) and SMS (text ‘TalkWithUs’ to 66746).

    Worker, Responder and Clinician Safety

    Workers, responders and clinicians face special risks during the response to a disaser.  Learn how you can keep yourself safe during a flood or hurricane.

    Watch, Listen, Learn

    Preparedness Tip Thumbnail:  Charge Cellphones
    Preparedness Tip Thumbnail:  Supplies

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    • This page last reviewed: October 23, 2015