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corner of content windowHurricane Frances News
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 15, 2004 
CONTACT: Jackie DiPietre 850-245-4111

DOH Offers Environmental Health Resources to Hurricane-Impacted Counties

-- Assessment Efforts Underway to Monitor Hazards, Limit Public Health Threats --

TALLAHASSEE – As part of the Florida Department of Health’s (DOH) ongoing efforts to help ensure the health and safety of individuals in the counties impacted by the recent hurricanes, DOH is monitoring environmental risks from potential contamination of water supplies, food and beaches.

“Day in and day out, our environmental health professionals are on the job, protecting our drinking water supplies, helping prevent West Nile virus, and controlling food and waterborne illness,” said DOH Secretary John O. Agwunobi, M.D., M.B.A., M.P.H. “Now, as our state is impacted by the effects of these hurricanes, their services are more important than ever.”

Environmental health specialists are responding to the post-hurricane recovery efforts caused by flooding and power outages, including mosquito infestation, sewage overflow issues, and food and water contamination. Some of their activities include:

  • assisting with door-to-door assessments of environmental hazards in impacted neighborhoods;
  • deploying teams to ensure proper sanitation and hygiene and prevent foodborne illness in shelters, feeding stations and comfort stations:
  • monitoring, coordinating with local solid waste agencies for disposal and removal of spoiled food and other garbage;
  • addressing public health risks associated with sewage spills in coordination with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and county health departments;
  • ensuring boil water notices are distributed and private and public water systems tested through coordination with regulatory agencies; and
  • providing spatial illustrations of affected areas as a planning tool for more efficient and effective hurricane disaster response.

For more information, visit the Department of Health website at www.doh.state.fl.us.

Florida Emergency Information Line: 1-800-342-3557.

Public Information Emergency Support Function: (850) 921-0384.

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Last updated: July 08, 2005

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