Preparing for a Hurricane: Before and After

  • Medical Author:
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

  • Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

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Quick GuideFirst Aid: 8 Essential First Aid Items for Car or Purse

First Aid: 8 Essential First Aid Items for Car or Purse

How do I deal with wild and domestic animals in a disaster?

Be cautious of wild or stray animals. They may be disoriented and dangerous following a hurricane or flood. Try to confine the animal without putting yourself at risk of being bitten. Call the Animal Control agency in your county if you find or come across a wild or domestic animal. Rising water in hurricanes displace snakes which may seek the same higher drier ground that people, pets and other animals may occupy. Be aware of this hazard and avoid any reptiles.

Wild and domestic animals may escape or be killed in disasters. Escaped animals may wander onto land where they may:

  • contaminate water supplies
  • cause a build-up of manure
  • overgraze sensitive ecosystems
  • cause damage to crops

Decaying carcasses create biologic waste, may contaminate groundwater, cause foul odors, and attract flies and rodents, which can spread disease. Animal carcasses should be disposed of as soon as possible to avoid creating a health hazard to animals or humans. Contact your local animal control department or local health department for specific disposal guidance.

Medically reviewed by Avrom Simon, MD; Board Certified Preventative Medicine with Subspecialty in Occupational Medicine

REFERENCES: Hurricanes Plus Cyclones, Typhoons, & Other Tropical Storms.

National Weather Service. Family Disaster Plan.

National Weather Service. National Hurricane Preparedness Week.

Washtenaw County Department of Planning & Environment. Environmental Health Fact Sheet; Safe Drinking Water During a Disaster.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/24/2016

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