Resources for Hurricane Harvey Response and Recovery

Published August 29, 2017

Updated Sept. 6, 2017

As Texas struggles withFlooded suburban Texas street from Hurricane Harvey. devastating floods caused by Hurricane Harvey, disaster response remains ongoing throughout the southeastern part of the state. AIHA, along with many federal agencies and other organizations, urges response and recovery workers and the public to guard against hazards during the disaster response and cleanup efforts. Some of the most common hazards during hurricane cleanup and recovery include downed power lines, carbon monoxide poisoning, exposures during flood and mold cleanup, and risk of structural collapse.

Below is a list of resources that consumers and occupational and environmental health and safety professionals may find helpful during emergency response, recovery, and remediation efforts.

  • Health and Safety Issues in Natural Disasters (PDF), an AIHA guidance document published in 2017, provides a list of resources for addressing potential hazards during and after floods, tornadoes, and wildfires
  • AIHA’s Flood Response Resources page collects general guidance on flood-related hazards for home and business owners from government agencies and other sources
  • AIHA’s Mold Resource Center, an online hub of information for professionals, home owners, and business owners affected by mold growth and contamination caused by flooding, storms, and water intrusion into buildings
  • OSHA’s Hurricane Preparedness and Response webpage
  • OSHA’s Flood Preparedness and Response webpage
  • Department of Labor Hurricane Recovery Assistance webpage
  • OSHA Fact Sheet: Keeping Workers Safe during Hurricane Cleanup and Recovery (PDF)
  • OSHA Quick Card: Protecting Workers from Heat Stress (PDF)
  • OSHA Fact Sheet: Disaster Cleanup and Recovery PPE Matrix (PDF)
  • OSHA Fact Sheet: Mold Hazards during Disaster Cleanup

AIHA is closely monitoring the situation and is in contact with our local sections in the affected areas. 

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Industry News Updates


CSB to Investigate Explosions at Chemical Plant Outside of Houston

On Sept. 1, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) announced that it will investigate the recent explosions at the Arkema, Inc. chemical plant in Crosby, Texas. CSB investigators will not deploy to the site until emergency response activities are complete and the facility has been deemed safe for entry. According to CSB’s news release, the agency’s initial activities will include “significant document requests” to Arkema to learn about the chemical process used at the site; specific chemicals stored, used, and produced on site; and implications for emergency preparedness and response efforts.

CSB Issues Safety Alert for Oil, Chemical Facilities

On Aug. 27, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) issued a safety alert (PDF) urging oil and chemical facilities to take special precautions when restarting operations following shutdowns due to Hurricane Harvey. “The startup of major processes at chemical facilities is a hazardous phase and facilities should pay particular attention to process safety requirements during this critical period to assure a safe and expeditious return to normal operations,” CSB’s press release reads.

This page will be updated as new developments occur.

Photo: Flooded suburban Texas street from Hurricane Harvey.

 

 Message to the Membership

 
Read the letter from AIHA President Deborah Imel Nelson, PhD, CIH, to the membership outlining AIHA's resources regarding Hurricane Harvey response and recovery.
 

 OSHA Resources

 
Download OSHA's list (PDF) of worker safety and health resources for hurricane and flood cleanup and recovery. Last updated Aug. 31, 2017.