Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

The Response to Hurricane Katrina: Iowa's Interstate Cooperation and Lessons Learned

Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

The Response to Hurricane Katrina: Iowa's Interstate Cooperation and Lessons Learned

Article excerpt

* For two weeks in September 2005, six environmental public health professionals from Iowa were deployed to Louisiana.

* The response was coordinated through Iowa and Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

* The mission was to work directly with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (LDHH).

* Upon arrival, the Iowa team met with representatives of LDHH, the Louisiana Rural Water Association, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 6.

* Food safety and protection of public and private water supplies were identified as top priorities.

* The Iowa team immediately began sampling water and conducting assessments of commercial seafood and retail food establishments.

* But they quickly learned that there were also health and sanitation issues at shelters for victims and responders.

* Inspection of mass shelter facilities quickly became a critical environmental health function.

* The shelters had a high volunteer turnover rate and overflowing volume of victims.

* Local contacts who were not part of the official response were found to be important resources. …

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