Key Messages and Resources for Hurricane Preparedness and Response

NACCHO is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), as well as state and local agencies in response to  Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. NACCHO is sharing the below resources from CDC to help promote greater sharing of information and tools to support local health departments’ hurricane preparedness, response, and recovery efforts. Please see this list of resources specifically by and for local health departments on topics such as vector control, risk communications, food safety, and mental/behavioral health.  If you have any questions or would like to request a resource you don’t see here, please e-mail NACCHO at

CDC has developed and released key messages about the hurricanes which can be leveraged by local health departments and their partners for external messaging and resources. The document contains information about leptospirosis and water safety (page 11 and 34-38), immunization recommendations for individuals displaced by disasters (page 14-15), information on mosquitoes and vector-borne diseases (page 17-22), guidance for cleaning up mold and avoiding injuries when returning home (page 25-29), information on health risks and protective actions for landslides and mudslides (page 23-25), and worker safety (page 51).

Mold Guidance (CDC Key Messages)

People with asthma, allergies, or other breathing conditions may be more sensitive to mold. People with a weakened immune system, such as people receiving treatment for cancer, people who have had an organ or stem cell transplant, and people taking medicines that suppress the immune system, are more likely to get a serious illness from mold. If you have a breathing problem like asthma, a weakened immune system, or are pregnant, try not to enter a building with mold damage. Children under 12 should not enter a building with mold damage. While cleaning up areas with mold damage, wear a NIOSH-approved N-95 respirator, or one that provides even more protection. Look for N-95 on the package. Detailed information about cleaning up mold is available in the Homeowner’s and Renter’s Guide to Mold Cleanup After Disasters.

Additionally, the latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) (Sept 22) from CDC on hurricanes contains an extensive list of resources on hurricane preparations, flooding, injury prevention, chemical hazards, mold, surveillance, and air quality for the public, public health professionals, and healthcare workers in English and Spanish.

This post was updated on October 17, 2017 to reflect the latest key messages and guidance from CDC.

About Katie Dwyer

Katie Schemm Dwyer is a Director in NACCHO's Preparedness Division. Her work focuses on supporting local health departments strengthen public health preparedness systems through governance, coordination and liaison with federal preparedness organizations, policy, and program management.

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