August 21, 2020  

EPIC Extra
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Millions of Americans are currently threatened by wildfires, hurricanes, and the ongoing pandemic. Their lives, health, and homes are at risk, and they are concerned not just for themselves but also for their families and loved ones. Many of you are influential members of your communities, so we know you understand of the difficult challenges people face when confronted by multiple threats.


We ask that you share the important information below with others you believe might benefit. These links provide guidance on how to reduce risk from hurricanes and wildfires, while considering the ongoing pandemic.


Both storms and wildfires can cut off power and make it difficult to spread important health messages. Please pass along these resources as quickly as possible. CDC recommends printing all important resources before they are needed because power outages can prevent access to online information. Another option, if printing is not possible, is to encourage people to save important information on their smart phones and to use their phones minimally, to preserve power as long as possible.

Natural Disasters, Severe Weather, and COVID-19

CDC has launched a new website in English and Spanish to provide information on how the general public can stay safe during and after hurricanes or other natural disasters. It contains information on preparedness and recovery during the COVID-19 response.
Key Ideas for Preparing this Hurricane Season
Trees swaying in the strong winds of a hurricane.

This Year Is Different: Understand that your planning and preparation may be different this year because of the need to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

Give Yourself Time: Give yourself more time than usual to prepare your emergency food, water, and medicine supplies. Home delivery is the safest choice for buying disaster supplies, but it may not be an option for everyone. If in-person shopping is your only choice, take steps to protect your and other’s health when running essential errands.

Pack Your Go Kit: If you need to evacuate, prepare a “go kit” with personal items you cannot do without during an emergency. Include items that can help protect you and others from COVID-19, such as hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, bar or liquid soap, disinfectant wipes (if available), and two masks for each person. Masks should not be used by children under the age of 2. They also should not be used by people having trouble breathing, or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or unable to remove the mask without assistance.

Keep Your Distance: When you check on neighbors and friends, be sure to follow social distancing recommendations (staying at least 6 feet from others) and other CDC recommendations to protect yourself and others.

Read more about COVID-19 specific hurricane key messages in the Hurricane Key Messages: COVID-19 Annex (Spanish), in addition to the Preparedness and Safety Messaging for Hurricanes, Flooding, and Similar Disasters (Spanish).

Download the FEMA Mobile App to stay aware of immediate threats and to locate 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. This website is available 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. This website is available 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 them by sending health and safety information. This website is available in English and Spanish.

Visit CDC’s Hurricane Toolkit for digital and print materials, and the Public Service Announcement (PSAs) page for PSAs in English and Spanish in a variety of formats including text, audio, and video.

Resources for Specific Risks

Flooding: Information and resources (English) (Spanish)

      Print Materials

Carbon Monoxide (CO): Information and resources (English) (Spanish)

     Print Materials

Mold: Information and resources (English) (Spanish)

     Print Materials

  • 8 Tips to Clean up Mold (English) (Spanish
  • Homeowner’s and Renter’s Guide to Mold Cleanup After Disasters (English) (Spanish
  • What to Wear before entering a Home or Building with Mold Damage (English) (Spanish

Food and Water Safety: Information and resources (English) (Spanish)

     Print Materials

To see a variety of CDC health resources in languages other than English or Spanish, please visit our searchable Web page.

Resources for Specific Risks

Trees being burned by a forest wildfire

CDC Wildfire Smoke and COVID-19 Website

Wildfire smoke can irritate your lungs, cause inflammation, affect your immune system, and make you more prone to lung infections, including COVID-19. Because of the pandemic, preparing for wildfires might be a little different this year. Know how wildfire smoke can affect you and your loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic and what you can do to protect yourselves. Visit CDC’s Wildfire Smoke and COVID-19 website in English or Spanish.

EPA Smoke-ready Toolbox for Wildfires

Smoke from wildfires reduces air quality and puts individuals with underlying conditions (such as asthma, COPD, or heart disease) and others at risk of poor health outcomes. EPA, the U.S. Forest Service, and other federal, state, and community agencies and organizations work together to help prepare the public to reduce their health risk before a wildfire. The Smoke-ready Toolbox for Wildfires includes resources public health officials and others can use to help educate people about the risks of smoke exposure and actions they can take to protect their health. The toolbox also includes links to CDC’s Wildfire Smoke and COVID-19 frequently asked questions and resources for environmental health professionals in English and Spanish.

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. Learn about Coping with a Disaster or Traumatic Event to protect your mental health.

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. Learn about Helping Children Cope with Emergencies (Spanish) to protect their mental health.

Contact Us

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA 30333

Contact CDC-INFO
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: 888-232-6348