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Mass Shelters: Environmental Health Issues

Broadcast Date: June 29, 2007
(1 hour, 30 minutes)

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Handouts (13 pages)

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Program Overview

Hurricane Katrina was the most destructive natural disaster in US History and displaced over a million people along the Gulf Coast. Texas received over 400,000 evacuees filling public buildings, convention centers, hotels, and stadiums throughout the state. Three weeks later, Hurricane Rita forced thousands more to seek shelter. Local government employees and thousands of volunteers helped provide evacuees with housing, shower facilities, food, clothing, medical care, communications, social services, and even some recreational activities.

Hurricanes are just one example of a catastrophic event when the public health workforce must be ready to set up, staff, and manage shelters for those displaced by the disaster. Maintaining appropriate environmental health standards is one of the many considerations for those responsible in setting up the shelters. Broadcast faculty will examine the example of two mega shelters set up in Houston in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Issues to be discussed include food safety, housekeeping and sanitation procedures, infection and outbreak control, pet shelters, and communication and staffing, including the screening and management of volunteers.

Faculty

Courtney Bock, RS
Sanitarian, Consumer Health Services
Houston Department of Health Services
Houston,Texas

Janet Lane, RS, MPH
Administrator, Food Safety Programs
Environmental Public Health Division
Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services
Harris County, Texas

Mark Miller, RS, MPH
Captain, US Public Health Service
Senior Environmental Health Officer
Environmental Health Services Branch
National Center for Environmental Health Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Target Audience

Public health environmentalists, sanitarians, public health administrators and personnel, emergency management personnel, state homeland security personnel, emergency response volunteers, animal control staff and public health students.

Contact Hours

None for this program.

Contact for Technical Assistance

334-206-5618 or email ALPHTN

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