Keeping workers safe means dealing with work-related hazards and much. The natural disasters that wreak havoc on homes – as we see so often in media reports – also affect businesses, and the people in them.
The EHS approach can start with preparedness, but it shouldn’t stop there. Long after the immediate danger is over, the repercussions of a disaster can continue to threaten the health and safety of people in affected areas.
The flooding that is often caused by hurricanes, for instance, can lead to microbial contamination. Damaged buildings in the process of being cleaned up and restored can harbor dangers that can injure to the workers doing the cleaning up.
Disasters aren’t always natural, either. The destruction of property and human life can also be the result of terrorism – something reflected in the CDC’s: Emergency and Terrorism Preparedness for Environmental Health Practitioners.
Focus on floods
This resource provides general information on flood issues including cleanup as well as food, water and shelter protection
Emergency response and mold
For specific information about emergency response, there’s:
Guidance on Microbial Contamination in Previously Flooded Outdoor Areas – guidance to help health authorities assess the level of risk posed by microbial contamination after a flood event
Hurricanes and tornadoes
For weather-related events, see:
Emergency Preparedness and Response Natural Disasters & Severe Weather website – information on floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and other disaster information
Hurricanes – information on hurricanes including cyclones, typhoons and other tropical storms
Public Health Emergency Response Guide for State, Local, and Tribal Public Health Directors - Version 2.0 – guidance and information that will assist during the response to an emergency or disaster
Staying Safe in a Tornado – CDC feature with tips on how to prepare and shelter in case of a tornado
Tornadoes: Being Prepared – describes how to prepare before, during and after tornado disasters
Click here to visit the CDC web page on natural disaster information for EHS practitioners.