Hurricanes, Floods, and Mold: A Federal Perspective
Ginger L. Chew, ScD, MSPH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
From Hurricane Katrina through the most recent series of hurricanes, recovery efforts have changed. However, observations from past hurricanes have informed current recommendations for mold clean-up. In 2013, The White House Hurricane Sandy Task Force sought to harmonize flood clean-up guidance across federal agencies to preclude mixed messages to the public. This led to the development of the National Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Indoor Environmental Pollutants Work Group. In 2015, we completed the harmonized federal agency guidelines for mold remediation (i.e.,Homeowner’s and Renter’s Guide to Mold Clean-up after Disasters). This document was the culmination of several interagency meetings and a comprehensive review of supporting literature for recommendations. This presentation will highlight improvements in messaging after major flood events; describe complicated issues not addressed in the interagency clean-up document; and discuss ongoing barriers that stakeholders encounter in mold cleanup of homes.