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Friday, June 20, 2008

Special Section: Health Issues During Flood Recovery

[Related: Public health experts at the University Hygienic Laboratory and the UI College of Public Health held a special media briefing today to discuss their initiative to develop and distribute information to aid Iowans as they face the daunting and protracted task of cleanup and recovery. Read about the briefing here. Listen to an mp3 audio file of the session here.]

The flood of 2008 that devastated more than 80 counties in Iowa now challenges the public health community to develop strategies that will help guide Iowans through the recovery process.  

In many areas, we do not know the extent of damage to homes and businesses. We do know that the record flood levels isolated people from their normal routines and presents many health risks from contaminants in water that still flows through our communities.

Public health partners at the University Hygienic Laboratory (UHL) and the UI College of Public Health (CPH) collaborate on developing and distributing the following information that will aid Iowans as we face the daunting and protracted task of clean-up and recovery. We encourage you to send us your ideas and suggestions for other topics as we look for ways to protect the health of Iowans during this time of emergency.

Informational Topics

The University of Iowa College of Public Health and the University Hygienic Laboratory developed the following materials to inform you about potential health hazards you may face after the recent flood. Listed below are links to fact sheets about each topic and video clips that explain what you might encounter.


VIDEO: Coping with the stress of an emergency (Dr. Kathleen Staley)

VIDEO: Is water from my well safe to drink? (Nancy Hall)

Look for additional topics and videos in coming weeks. Meanwhile, here are a list of additional resources:

University Hygienic Laboratory – Water testing, environmental and public health concerns

Iowa Department of Public Health – Flood-related Information

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- Key Facts About Hurricane and Flood Recovery

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences – Floods

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Natural Disasters and Weather Emergencies

Evacuation Considerations for Persons who are Elderly, Disabled or Have Special Medical Care Issues