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Hurricane Season is not over yet! Prepare for a Hurricane Now

Source: US Environmental Protection Agency

Hurricane season began June 1 and will continue until November 30. Now is the time to make any preparations that can minimize injury and property damage. Households, utilities, and businesses should plan for disaster before hurricane season starts, or make any possible preparations when a hurricane is predicted.

Drinking water and food:

Water and wastewater systems

Planning for disaster debris:

Damage from a hurricane depends on the size, extent, and other factors. Damage debris can include destroyed structures, hazardous waste, green waste, or personal property. More information

This guide highlights the need for communities to plan ahead for debris cleanup after a major natural or man-made disaster, plus case studies. Read a printable version (PDF) (94 pp 1.9 MB, about PDF).

Chemical or fertilizer storage:

Properly designed or modified storage facilities enhance worker safety and minimize the risk contamination.

Summary of regulatory requirements related to shutdown operations – For complex industrial processes, shutdown operations require special care beyond normal operations. Facility owners and operators are required to minimize chemical releases during process shutdown operations; and if reportable releases occur, they must be reported immediately upon constructive knowledge of occurrence. Read more about applicable regulations: Reminder to minimize process shutdown-related releases and report releases in a timely manner.

Recover after a hurricane

Current information about Hurricane Sandy Response and Recovery

ALERT: Generator exhaust is toxic. Always put generators outside well away from doors, windows, and vents. Never use a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds, or similar areas. Carbon monoxide (CO) is deadly, can build up quickly, and linger for hours. More information

Report suspected spills, contamination or possible violations.

  • To report oil,chemical, or hazardous substance releases or spills, call the National Response Center 800-424-8802.
  • Report a suspected environmental violation on EPA’s reporting page.

Flooding

  • Limit contact with flood water. Flood water may have high levels of raw sewage or other hazardous substances. Early symptoms from exposure to contaminated flood water may include upset stomach, intestinal problems, headache and other flu-like discomfort. Anyone experiencing these and any other problems should immediately seek medical attention.
  •  What do I do with my home septic system after a flood? Do not use the sewage system until water in the soil absorption field is lower than the water level around the house. If you have a home-based or small business and your septic system has received chemicals, take extra precautions to prevent contact with water or inhaling fumes. Proper clean-up depends on the kinds of chemicals in the wastewater. Read more

For water and wastewater facilities: Suggested post-hurricane activities to help facilities recover.

Mold

 Mold cleanup: Mold can cause serious health problems. The key to mold control is moisture control. After the flood, remove standing water and dry indoor areas. Remove and discard anything that has been wet for more than 24-48 hours.

Boil Drinking Water

If your water may not be safe, bring drinking water to a rolling boil for 1 minute to kill water-borne diseases.

Drinking water and food

  •  Dehydration danger for older adults– Make sure older adults have enough water to drink. Older adults may feel thirsty less, and dehydration can be life threatening to an elderly person.