Severe Weather

Severe Weather & Your Health 

Extreme weather patterns carry a wide range of implications regarding human populations. In addition to the high potential for injuries and deaths during hurricanes, floods, and other weather-related disasters, it's important to know the additional health risks associated with extreme weather conditions.

A variety of weather situations can have an impact of an outdoor event. Please consult this checklist to see if there are things you need to consider for your event to keep your attendees safe and healthy.

Click here for information on warming/cooling centers.

  1. Floods
  2. Hurricanes
  3. Extreme Heat
  4. Extreme Cold
  5. Additional Health & Safety Concerns


Floods are the most common natural disasters in the United States. You can take steps to reduce the harm caused by flooding. Learn how to prepare for a flood, stay safe during a flood, and protect your health when you return home after a flood.

Image detailing what to do during and after a flood. text version is below image Opens in new window

                    (en español)

  • Before
    • Know your area’s flood risk (en español)
      • Identify flood-prone or landslide-prone areas near you.
      • Know your community’s warning signals, evacuation routes, and emergency shelter locations.
      • Know flood evacuation routes near you.
    • Check to see if your insurance policy covers flooding.
    • Have a supply kit and an emergency plan that includes and evacuation location.
  • During
    • Gather emergency supplies and follow local radio or TV updates.
    • Unplug appliances to prevent electrical shock when power comes back on.
    • Do NOT drive or walk across flooded roads. Cars and people can be swept away.
    • When power lines are down, water is in your home, or before you evacuate, TURN OFF gas, power, and water.
    • Tie down or bring outdoor items inside.
  • After
    • Throw away items that cannot be disinfected, like wall coverings, cloth, rugs, and drywall.
    • Use fans, air conditioning units, and dehumidifiers for drying.
    • For cleanup, wear rubber boots and plastic gloves.
    • Clean walls, hard floors, and other surfaces with soap and water. Use a mixture of 1 cup bleach and 1 gallon water to disinfect.
    • Caution! Flood water may contain trash.
    • Practice Safe Hygiene
      • Wash hands with soap and water to help prevent germs.
      • Listen for information from your local officials on how to safely use water to drink, cook, or clean.
    • For more information visit: (en español)

Flash Flooding / Turn Around, Don’t Drown

  • Avoid areas already flooded, especially if the water is flowing fast. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams. Turn Around Don't Drown
  • Roadbeds may be washed out under flood waters. Never drive though flooded roadways. If your vehicle is suddenly caught in rising water, leave it immediately and get to higher ground.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.

More Information

Exposure to Flood Waters

  • Flood waters are likely to contain sewage as well as gasoline, solvents and other chemicals.
  • Avoid contact with flood waters if at all possible.
  • Individuals exposed to flood waters should take a bath or shower with clean water and soap.
  • Clean clothing and other belongings by laundering.
  • If you have open cuts exposed to flood water, wash with soap and disinfected water and apply antibiotic ointment. If redness, swelling or drainage of the wound occurs, see a physician.