How to Protect Yourself from Animal and
Insect-Related Hazards After a Natural Disaster
- Avoid wild or stray animals.
- Call local authorities to handle animals.
- Secure all food sources and remove any animal carcasses to avoid
- Get rid of dead animals, according to guidelines from your local animal
control authority, as soon as you can. For more, please read the Animal Disposal Following an Emergency Animal article.
- For more information, contact your local animal shelter or services, a
veterinarian, or the Humane Society for advice on dealing with pets or stray
or wild animals after an emergency.
- Rain and flooding in a hurricane area may lead to an increase in numbers
of mosquitoes, which can carry diseases such as West Nile virus or dengue
fever. In most cases, the mosquitoes will be pests but will not carry
communicable diseases. Local, state, and federal public health authorities
will be actively working to control the spread of any mosquito-borne
diseases. For more information please read the West Nile Virus article.
- To protect yourself from mosquitoes, use screens on dwellings; wear long
pants, socks, and long-sleeved shirts; and use insect repellents that
contain DEET or Picaridin. Follow directions on the product label and take
care when using DEET on small children. More information about these and
other recommended repellents please read the
West Nile, Avoid Mosquito Bites to Avoid Infection and
How to Choose Use Insect Repellents Safely articles.
- To help control mosquito populations, drain all standing water left
outdoors in open containers, such as flower pots, tires, pet dishes, or
Prevent or Respond to a Snake Bite
- Be aware of snakes that may be swimming in the water to get to higher
ground and those that may be hiding under debris or other objects.
- If you see a snake, back away from it slowly and do not touch it.
- If you or someone you know are bitten, try to see and remember the color
and shape of the snake, which can help with treatment of the snake bite.
- Keep the bitten person still and calm. This can slow down the spread of
venom if the snake is poisonous. Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Dial 911 or call local Emergency Medical Services. Apply first aid if you
can not get the person to the hospital right away.
- Lay or sit the person down with the bite below the level of the
- Tell him/her to stay calm and still.
- Cover the bite with a clean, dry dressing.
Source: Centers for Disease Control, www.cdc.gov
Last Editorial Review: 9/7/2005