Supermarkets are on the front lines of emergency response both in preparation for an impending disaster such as a hurricane, and as one of the primary operations that must be up and running for a community to be able to recover after a disaster strikes. Federal, state, and local governmental entities have partnered with local retailers, wholesalers and even trade associations, such as NGA, to coordinate response efforts after a disaster in order to quickly get basic necessities such as food and water back into local communities. Below is information from CDC EPIC about how to stay safe both before and after a hurricane to share with your communities.
CDC EPIC is sharing important information about how to stay safe both before and after a hurricane to share with your communities. Storms can cut off power and make it difficult to spread important health messages. Please pass along these resources and to your partners and clients. Email and printing might not be possible in an affected area after a hurricane.
Preparedness and Safety Messaging for Hurricanes, Flooding, and Similar Disasters
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 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. This document is also available in Spanish.
CDC Public Service Announcements (PSAs) and Podcasts provide timely messages about what you can do to protect yourself and your family during natural disasters and severe weather. These media resources are available in a variety of formats including text, audio, and video. See website in English and Spanish.
Use the FEMA Mobile App to stay aware of immediate threats, receive emergency tips, and learn the location of nearby shelters.
Main tips for before and after a hurricane
Before a Hurricane: Learn about the important steps to take before a disaster including items to stock up on to stay safe at home and what to do if you need to evacuate. See website in English and Spanish.
After a Hurricane: Get tips on how to recover safely from a hurricane. After a hurricane, you may face flooding, downed power lines, damage from mold, and other risks to your health. See website in English and Spanish.
How to Help Loved Ones: If you have friends, family, or other loved ones in hurricane-affected areas, you can help ensure they stay safe by sending them health and safety information. See website in English and Spanish.
Resources for Specific Risks
Flooding: Get out of areas subject to flooding. This includes dips, low spots, canyons, washes, etc. If flooding occurs, get to higher ground. Flood water poses drowning risks for everyone, regardless of their ability to swim. Swiftly moving shallow water can be deadly, and even shallow standing water can be dangerous for small children.
Vehicles do not provide adequate protection from flood waters. They can be swept away or may stall in moving water. Avoid driving through flooded areas and standing water. As little as six inches of water can cause you to lose control of your vehicle, and two feet of water can cause your car to be swept away. Turn around, don’t drown. See the website in English and Spanish.
Carbon Monoxide (CO): CO is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death if inhaled. When power outages occur during natural disasters and other emergencies, the use of alternative sources of fuel or electricity for heating or cooking can cause CO to build up in a home, garage, or camper, which can poison the people inside. See website in English and Spanish.
Mold: Mold can cause health problems, especially in people with asthma, allergies, or other breathing conditions. After natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods, excess moisture and standing water contribute to the growth of mold in homes and other buildings. See website in English and Spanish.
Food and Water Safety: Follow these steps to make sure you and your family have enough safe food and water (for drinking, cooking, bathing, etc.) available in the event of a disaster or emergency. Listen to your local officials to find out if your water is safe. See website in English, Spanish, and other languages.
Coping with a Disaster
During and after a disaster, it is natural to experience different and strong emotions. Coping with these feelings and getting help when you need it will help you, your family, and your community recover from a disaster. See website in English and Spanish.
Helping Children Cope: Regardless of your child’s age, he or she may feel upset or have other strong emotions after an emergency. Some children react right away, while others may show signs of difficulty much later. How a child reacts and the common signs of distress can vary according to the child’s age, previous experiences, and how the child typically copes with stress. See website in English and Spanish.
Please pass along these materials to your partners and communities, and print and distribute important information before the storm. CDC strongly recommends printing all important resources before a hurricane strikes. Power outages during and after a hurricane can prevent you from accessing information online when you most need it.