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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2013 May 24;62(20):393-7.

Deaths associated with Hurricane Sandy - October-November 2012.

Abstract

On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit the northeastern U.S. coastline. Sandy's tropical storm winds stretched over 900 miles (1,440 km), causing storm surges and destruction over a larger area than that affected by hurricanes with more intensity but narrower paths. Based on storm surge predictions, mandatory evacuations were ordered on October 28, including for New York City's Evacuation Zone A, the coastal zone at risk for flooding from any hurricane. By October 31, the region had 6-12 inches (15-30 cm) of precipitation, 7-8 million customers without power, approximately 20,000 persons in shelters, and news reports of numerous fatalities (Robert Neurath, CDC, personal communication, 2013). To characterize deaths related to Sandy, CDC analyzed data on 117 hurricane-related deaths captured by American Red Cross (Red Cross) mortality tracking during October 28-November 30, 2012. This report describes the results of that analysis, which found drowning was the most common cause of death related to Sandy, and 45% of drowning deaths occurred in flooded homes in Evacuation Zone A. Drowning is a leading cause of hurricane death but is preventable with advance warning systems and evacuation plans. Emergency plans should ensure that persons receive and comprehend evacuation messages and have the necessary resources to comply with them.

PMID:
23698603
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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