Behind the Scenes with Summer Helene
Listener from Fort Collins, CO
"What are the biggest health dangers to people in Houston?"
Once the flooding subsides people need to have their basic needs met - safety, shelter, clothing, food, water, reuniting with their family and loved ones. In terms of public health, water-borne illnesses such as cholera are a risk when water supplies are breached when there is a sewage contamination of drinking water, exposure to the elements leading to hypothermia, and not to mention alligators, snakes, etc.
Listener from Orlando, FL
"What are the best foods for me to stock up on with the hurricane on the way?"
You need water (1 gal/day for each person and pet), non-perishables such as canned or in cartons along with ca can opener, transistor radio, lantern, basic provisions as outlined by the Red Cross.
If you cannot do this there are pre-assembled packages at certain grocery and sporting goods stores.
Listener from Amarillo, TX
"What is the best way to avoid upper respiratory diseases from spreading among the people in shelters? Like what happened in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina while these people live in large communal areas."
Of course on such a scale of a public health concern we hope that people have been properly vaccinated against influenza and whooping cough.
1. On an individualized basis as you see sometimes in airports people with respiratory ailments trying to protect themselves against such ailments wearing masks to
2. You should, as an individual, practice hand-washing after contact with another person.
3. Avoid individuals who are obviously infected. As a general rule, if you have a cold or the flu you are infectious for the first 48 hours after the symptoms began.