CDC Emergency Partners - Stay Safe After a Disaster

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Emergency Partners Newsletter


October 4 , 2017 

CDC’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is bringing together CDC and ATSDR staff to work efficiently to support the local, state, and federal response to public health needs resulting from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

Updated Key Messages

Front cover of key messages for October 2, 2017

Use these key messages, available in English and Spanish, to share important safety information with your readers, as well as your friends and family. Feel free to copy and paste the information, links, and images into your newsletters, emails, and social media posts.

These key messages were updated October 2, 2017. Updates are in bold blue font. This week's key messages include additional messages about:

  •  Immunizations,
  •  Diseases mosquitoes carry, and
  •  Landslides and mudslides.


    Keep Food, Water, and Medication Safe

    Refrigerator thermometer


    Food: Throw away food that may have come in contact with flood or storm water, perishable foods, and foods with an unusual odor, color, or texture.

    Water: Do not use water you suspect or have been told is contaminated to wash dishes, brush your teeth, wash and prepare food, wash your hands, make ice, or make baby formula.

    Medication: Some drugs require refrigeration to keep their strength, including many liquid drugs. The drug's label will tell you if it needs to be refrigerated. When the power is out for a day or more, throw away any drugs that should be refrigerated, unless the drug’s label says otherwise. If someone's life depends on the refrigerated drugs, use them only until a new supply is available. Replace all refrigerated drugs as soon as possible.

    Stay Safe during Power Outages

    • NEVER touch a fallen power line.
    • Do not drive through standing water if downed power lines are in the water.
    • If a power line falls across your car while you are driving, stay inside the vehicle and continue to drive away from the line.
    • If the engine stalls, do not turn off the ignition. Do not allow anyone to touch the vehicle. Call or ask someone to call the local utility company and emergency services.
    • Keep generators at least 20 feet away from your home. Don't grill inside. Fumes can kill. 
    • If it's hot, move to a cooler place, take sips of water, and take cool showers.  

    Prevent Mosquito Bites, and Avoid Wild or Stray Animals

    Aedes aegypti mosquito by Jim Gathany


    Prevent mosquito bites:

    • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
    • Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
    • Treat your clothing and gear with permethrin or buy pre-treated items (except in Puerto Rico, where permethrin is not effective).
    • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents on exposed skin. Use a repellent with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, or 2-undecanone.
    • See EPA’s search tool here.
    • Always follow the product label instructions.
    • Reapply insect repellent as directed.
    • Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing.
    • If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second.

    For babies and children:

    • Dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs.
    • Cover crib, stroller, and baby carrier with mosquito netting.
    • See insect repellent recommendations for children below.

    For more information, please see Prevent Mosquito Bites.

    Avoid wild or stray animals:

    • Call local authorities to handle animals.
    • Secure all food sources and remove any animal carcasses to avoid attracting rats.