A Message from AIHA's President Regarding Hurricane Harvey

Posted August 30, 2017

On Tuesday, Aug. 29, AIHA President Deborah Imel Nelson, PhD, CIH, sent a letter to the membership outlining AIHA’s resources regarding Hurricane Harvey response and recovery. The full letter appears below.

Dear AIHA Member,

Images of the devastating floods in Texas and the greater Gulf Coast have touched all of us. With the storm moving further inland and the rains expected to continue for days, millions of people are in their hour of need. The storm is still very active and thus poses hazardous conditions for our members, their families and others in low lying communities, and first responders in the impacted areas. AIHA extends its heartfelt sympathies to those whose lives have been forever altered by this storm, and we stand ready to help, both now and during the long cleanup to come.

AIHA reminds its members to refer to Ready.gov to learn about how to respond to flooding and wind damage caused by tropical storms and hurricanes. Listen and adhere to local and state officials regarding immediate notifications, evacuations, shelter-in-place, and other response measures.

On AIHA.org, you will find a number of resources related to Hurricane Harvey disaster relief, including a list of national and local charities, as well as AIHA publications. Our recently published Health and Safety Issues in Natural Disasters (PDF) includes a section on flood hazards written for the general public. We’ve linked to the document from our home page, and we encourage you to share it widely. Elsewhere on our website we have links to resources on flood response and mold. Our Consultants Listing contains a listing of IH professionals who can provide guidance during flood recovery and cleanup and is available free of charge.

Once the recovery gets underway, there are opportunities for members to volunteer time and/or to donate money to the estimated 500,000+ individuals who will require some form of disaster assistance. Visit National VOAD, also known as National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, for details.

The workers who will be called on to help the nation recover from this disaster will require our profession’s unique knowledge and skills. The webpage of AIHA’s Incident Preparedness and Response Working Group has a number of resources for OHS professionals.

AIHA is closely monitoring the situation and is in contact with our local sections in the affected areas. We are prepared to respond to developments as they occur and will keep our members informed.

If you are involved or affected by Hurricane Harvey, please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information, please email Sue Marchese – and most of all, be safe.

Sincerely,

Deborah Imel Nelson
AIHA President (2017–2018)