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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Southern U.S. Tornadoes and Severe Storms

May 5, 2011:  HHS agencies continue to stand ready to support states impacted by the recent tornadoes and severe storms as the response transitions to recovery.

During the response, the HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Regional Emergency Coordinators worked with counterparts in affected states to ensure states had the resources needed for response and discussed the need for a Public Health Emergency Declaration. In anticipation of requests for federal support, HHS activated a Disaster Medical Assistance Team and a Disaster Mortuary Operations Response Assessment Team which were prepared to respond immediately if their support was needed. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services also worked with states to determine the need for 1135 waivers. In addition, HHS agencies reached out to their counterparts in state agencies to determine the status of community health centers, the aging network, damage to industries regulated for food safety. Impacted states were able to respond with state and local resources and did not find a need for federal support such as National Public Health Emergency Declarations, 1135 waivers, or federal public health and medical teams.

The HHS Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) provided technical assistance to impacted states and extended information on tornado issues available through the crisis centers operating the oil spill distress helpline, 800-985-5990.

The President declared the states eligible for Individual Assistance Programs one of which is the Crisis Counseling and Training Grant Program. With funding , local teams will provide crisis counseling to impacted residents and responders in the affected areas. SAMHSA is providing technical assistance to states on their grant applications and will provide grant management for the states when awards are made.

In addition, HHS provided public information on ways to protect health in the aftermath of the storms. SAMHSA distributed mental and behavioral health materials for tornadoes to all of the impacted states. CDC featured a tornado spotlight on emergency.cdc.gov, sent a Tweet on April 28 pointing to CDC tornado resources, and sent subsequent Tweets April 29 with post-storm health messages, such as carbon monoxide and generator safety and safety around downed power lines. CDC was on standby to fulfill any requests for broadcast quality copies of the agency’s existing severe weather PSAs which provide tips to people in the affected area on how to protect public health during response and recovery, such as the preventing carbon monoxide poisoning from generators used during power failures. All of this information, along with connections to state-based health resources, is available on www.phe.gov/emergency.

May 1, 2011:  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) is providing technical assistance to impacted states and has extended information on tornado issues available through the crisis centers operating the oil spill distress helpline, 800-985-5990.

HHS agencies continue to stand ready to support states impacted by the recent tornadoes and severe storms. The HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response activated a Disaster Medical Assistance Team and a Disaster Mortuary Operations Response Assessment Team which remain ready to deploy as needed by the states.

In addition, HHS has provided public information on ways to protect health in the aftermath of the storms. SAMHSA distributed mental and behavioral health materials for tornadoes to all of the impacted states. CDC featured a tornado spotlight on emergency.cdc.gov, sent a Tweet on April 28 pointing to CDC tornado resources, and sent subsequent Tweets April 29 with post-storm health messages, such as carbon monoxide and generator safety and safety around downed power lines. All of this information, along with connections to state-based health resources, is available on www.phe.gov/emergency.

CDC remains on standby to fulfill any requests for broadcast quality copies of the agency’s existing severe weather PSAs.

April 29, 2011:  HHS agencies stand ready to support states impacted by the recent tornadoes and severe storms. The HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response activated a Disaster Medical Assistance Team and a Disaster Mortuary Operations Response Assessment Team which are ready to deploy as needed by the states.

In addition, HHS is providing public information on ways to protect health in the aftermath of the storms. CDC features a tornado spotlight on emergency.cdc.gov, sent a Tweet on April 28 pointing to CDC tornado resources, and sent subsequent Tweets April 29 with post-storm health messages, such as carbon monoxide and generator safety and safety around downed power lines. This information along with connections to state-based health resources are available on www.phe.gov.

CDC is also on standby to fulfill any requests for broadcast quality copies of the agency’s existing severe weather PSAs.

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  • This page last reviewed: May 10, 2011