Nonfatal Injuries 1 Week After Hurricane Sandy — New York City Metropolitan Area, October 2012

Brackbill, Robert M.; Caramanica, Kimberly; Maliniak, Maret; Stellman, Steven D.; Fairclough, Monique A.; Farfel, Mark R.; Turner, Lennon; Maslow, Carey B.; Moy, Amanda J.; Wu, David; Yu, Shengchao; Welch, Alice E.; Cone, James E.; Walker, Deborah J.

On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy (Sandy) made landfall in densely populated areas of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Flooding affected 51 square miles (132 square kilometers) of New York City (NYC) and resulted in 43 deaths, many caused by drowning in the home, along with numerous storm-related injuries. Thousands of those affected were survivors of the World Trade Center (WTC) disaster of September 11, 2001 (9/11) who had previously enrolled in the WTC Health Registry (Registry) cohort study. To assess Sandy-related injuries and associated risk factors among those who lived in Hurricane Sandy-flooded areas and elsewhere, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene surveyed 8,870 WTC survivors, who had provided physical and mental health updates 8 to 16 months before Sandy. Approximately 10% of the respondents in flooded areas reported injuries in the first week after Sandy; nearly 75% of those had more than one injury. Injuries occurred during evacuation and clean-up/repair of damaged or destroyed homes. Hurricane preparation and precautionary messages emphasizing potential for injury hazards during both evacuation and clean-up or repair of damaged residences might help mitigate the occurrence and severity of injury after a hurricane.

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Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

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October 28, 2014