Hurricane Harvey – September 1, 2017
DSHS is responding to flooding and other effects of Hurricane Harvey in Texas. DSHS coordinates public health and medical services during disasters in the state, including the evacuation of health care facilities, providing shelters for people with special medical needs, and supporting the behavioral health of responders.
As of Friday morning, 187 missions have been completed transporting 1,700 patients from health care facilities affected by Harvey. Texas Mobile Medical Units have seen 324 patients and transferred 53 to health care facilities. Medical shelters for people who need specialized medical care are open in Houston, San Antonio and Austin. DSHS continues to assist with the evacuation of hospitals in Beaumont that have lost their water supply due to flooding. Some hospitals that had closed have re-opened for emergency or full services, but there are hospitals in the affected area that remain closed. People who have a medical emergency should call 9-1-1.
Floodwater can create significant hazards, and everyone should remember basic precautions:
- Pay attention to local media for the latest from leaders on local conditions.
- Listen for announcements about the safety of public drinking water and follow “boil water” alerts for your area.
- Avoid floodwater when possible. It may contain bacteria, hazardous chemicals and dangerous debris.
- Never run electrical generators inside your home, because carbon monoxide can build up and kill.
- Recovering from the Emotional Aftermath of a Disaster
- Helping children recover from the emotional aftermath of a disaster
- Helping the elderly recover from the emotional aftermath of a disaster
- Returning to a Flooded Building
- Flooding and Diarrheal Illnesses
- Carbon Monoxide and Generators
- Dial 2-1-1 for information on services available in your area.
- If you lost WIC food or formula, lost a WIC card, or need to find an open WIC clinic, call 800-942-3678 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- If you need breastfeeding help, call 855-550-6667. Lactation consultants answer this line 24 hours a day.
- People who need to find an operating dialysis clinic should contact the End Stage Renal Disease Network of Texas at 866-407-3773.
- Providers should follow guidance regarding submission of newborn screening specimens. Information is regularly updated on the Laboratory Services page.
- The Texas HIV Medication Program page is regularly updated with information about replacing and delivery of medications.
- People with puncture wounds or cuts exposed to flood water could be at risk of contracting tetanus if they haven’t had a tetanus vaccination within the last 10 years. People up-to-date on vaccinations do not need any additional vaccines.
- Students displaced by Harvey may be enrolled in school provisionally for 30 days without proof of immunization. Schools with electronic access to ImmTrac2, the state immunization registry, will be able to verify immunization status for many students.
- Medical professionals who want to volunteer can register with the Texas Disaster Volunteer Registry and contact private organizations like the American Red Cross. Please don’t respond on your own.
- Governor Greg Abbott has approved a waiver allowing Texas hospitals to exceed their licensed bed capacity to provide care for evacuees.
- Follow DSHS on Twitter and Facebook for more safety information.