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Hurricane Earl and your health

CDC.gov promotes staying healthy during hurricanes.

CDC.gov gives tips for staying safe and healthy during hurricanes.

If you live anywhere between North Carolina and Maine, you know Hurricane Earl is headed your way. Maybe you bought some more bread and milk at the grocery yesterday. In the worst case scenario, you are packing up and leaving town.

But the CDC wants people to remember that weather preparedness doesn’t just mean boarding up the windows. They have a public relations campaign to help you, and your pets, prepare, evacuate, and recover. Don’t forget to stock up on prescription medicines, food, and a first aid kit, and make sure everyone in your family has a plan, says the CDC. Even though half a decade has passed since Hurricane Katrina hit, the images of people suffering should be enough to help bolster the CDC’s message.

Despite the warnings to plan, when another big hurricane hits, there will undoubtedly be people who need medical treatment, food, water, shelter and other supplies.

Jim Lehrer interviewed Craig Fugate, administrator of  the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on PBS this week. Fugate says FEMA is a very different organization from what it was when Katrina hit in 2005. However, it will be hard for the American public to believe that assessment until they see efficiency and effectiveness in action.

What do you think the government’s role is in helping Americans stay healthy after natural disasters? What are our individual responsibilities to prepare for these situations?