Hurricanes, Typhoons and Cyclones

Within the last decade, two of U.S. history's most destructive and costly hurricanes struck our coastlines. Both hurricanes Katrina of 2005 and Sandy of 2012 were classified as category 3 storms at landfall (based on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale). The National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health commends those first responders and health professionals who played a role in the response to and recovery from these devastating storms. NCDMPH believes the past experiences of first responders and health professionals provide valuable lessons that encourage learning so future responders can better manage all-hazards events.

Although this page specifies hurricanes, these resources are applicable for hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons. The difference between these storms is mainly regional and is clarified in Basic Disaster Life Support: Course Manual, Version 3.0

"Hurricane is the name given to a subset of storms produced around the equator of the earth. These storms are characterized by a rotating storm core that is fueled by warm, moist air that rises and eventually condenses to produce heavy rainfall. In the Indian Ocean region they are known as cyclones, in the Western Pacific they are called typhoons, and in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific Oceans they are hurricanes."

Contribute to "a nation of resilient communities" by educating yourself and others on disaster health topics related to hurricanes. NCDMPH has gathered resources for health professionals for all hurricane related events. By providing these resources, the National Center aims to foster resilience through learning. The organization of this content is intended to facilitate self-directed learning as well as provide materials for educators. This is an initial effort and we will continue to add to these resources.

Ideas for educators who are teaching health professionals interested in learning content or activities related to health impacts of hurricanes may be found here.

Latest updates are indicated by under individual sections.

-- Background --

Hurricanes. NLM Disaster Information Management Resource Center.

Overview: Hurricane Katrina PDF. NOAA.

Overview: Hurricane/Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy PDF. NOAA.

Final Report of the Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina PDF. U.S. House of Representatives.

Yale-Tulane ESF-8 Special Report: Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in Vietnam

ReliefWeb Typhoon Haiyan

USAID. Typhoon Haiyan.

NLM DIMRC Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.

Republic of the Philippines. National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Update PDF .

Health Information for Travelers to Philippines. CDC.

CDC, NIOSH: Emergency Response Resources: Storm/Flood andHurricane/Typhoon Response


-- Resources: Health Impacts of Hurricanes --

Larrance R, Anastario M, Lawry L. Health Status Among Internally Displaced Persons in Louisiana and Mississippi Travel Trailer Parks: A Global Perspective. Annals Emer Med. 2007; 49(5): 590-601.

Hurricane and Flood Recovery. CDC.

Prevent Illness and Injuries after a Hurricane or Flood. CDC.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR): Deaths Associated with Hurricane Sandy. CDC.

Environmental Health Impacts of Hurricane Sandy. NIH.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR): Injuries and Illnesses Related to Hurricane Andrew. CDC.

Sastry N, Gregory J. The effect of Hurricane Katrina on the prevalence of health impairments and disability among adults in New Orleans. Soc Sci Med. 2013 Mar; 80:121-9. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.12.009. Epub 2012 Dec 20.

Emergency Access Initiative provides free access to scholarly articles during and immediately after disasters.

WHO PAHO. Risk of Dead Bodies Associated with an Epidemic.

Evidence Aid. Resources to open access articles related to health impacts of water.

Park KJ, Moon JY, Ha JS, Kim SD, Pyun BY, Min TK, Park YH. Impacts of heavy rain and typhoon on allergic disease. 2013. 4(3) 140-5.

Typhoon Haiyan. The American Academy of Pediatrics Responds with open access to medical & professional periodicals.


-- Resources: Psychosocial --

Children's Psychosocial Needs in Disasters. NCDMPH.

Managing traumatic stress: After the hurricanes. American Psychological Association.

Psychological First Aid. Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress.

Teachers Helping Students: Listening and Talking. Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress.

Le F, Tracy M, Norris FH, Galea S. Displacement, county social cohesion, and depression after a large-scale traumatic event. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2013 May 5. [Epub ahead of print]

Immediate Disaster Response - Hurricane Sandy. SAMHSA.

Neria Y, Shultz JM. Mental health effects of Hurricane Sandy. JAMA. 2012 Dec 26; 308(24):2571-2.

Hoffpauir SA, Woodruff LA. Effective mental health response to catastrophic events: lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina. Fam Community Health. 2008 Jan-Mar; 31(1):17-22.

Roberson-Nay R, Berenz EC, Acierno R, Tran TL, Trung LT, Tam NT, Tuan T, Buoi T, Buio LT, Ha TT, Thach TD, Amstadter AB. Characteristics of individuals meeting criteria for new onset panic attacks following exposure to a typhoon. Psychiatry Res. 2013. 209 (3): 547-8. (EAI Access)

SAMHSA. Post-Disaster Retraumatization: Risk and Protective Factors.  YouTube 


-- Resources: Community Health Recovery --

Recovering From Disaster. FEMA.

Adapting the Healthy Development Measurement Tool to Post-Disaster Planning Initiatives. Public Health Practices (University of Minnesota).

How to Help Your Community Recover from Disaster PDF: A manual for planning and action. Society for Community Research and Action.

Lavizzo-Mourey, R. Building Healthy Communities After Disaster. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Long Term Community Recovery From Disasters: A look at U.S. communities in the process of recovering from disasters. Long Term Community Recovery Blog.

Volunteer Work - Logistics First. The New England Journal of Medicine.

Hurricane Irene Response: Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) Activities PDF. Medical Reserve Corps


-- Resources: Healthcare Systems Impact --

Tran P, Weireter L, Sokolowski W, Lawsure K, Sokolowski J. HAZUS modeling for hurricane effect on a healthcare campus: implications for health care planning. Am Surg. 2009 Nov; 75(11):1059-64.

Facing Uncertainty - Dispatch from Beth Israel Medical Center, Manhattan. The New England Journal of Medicine.

Lessons from Sandy - Preparing Health Systems for Future Disasters. The New England Journal of Medicine.

Rodriguez H, Aguirre BE. Hurricane Katrina and the healthcare infrastructure: A focus on disaster preparedness, response, and resiliency. Front Health Serv Manage. 2006 Fall;23(1):13-23; discussion 25-30.

Slepski LA. Emergency preparedness and professional competency among health care providers during hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Disaster Manag Response. 2007 Oct-Dec;5(4):99-110.

WHO PAHO. Mass Fatality Plan Checklist.

International Committee of the Red Cross. Management of dead bodies after disasters: A field manual for first responders.

Lin CH, Hou SK, Shih FF, Su S. The effect of tropical cyclones (typhoons) on emergency department visits. J Emerg Med. 2013. 45 (3): 372-9. (EAI Access)


-- Resources: Evacuation and Sheltering --

Planning for Psychiatric Patient Movement During Emergencies and Disasters. ASPR.

Prepare to Evacuate. CDC.

Hospital Evacuation Decision Guide PDF. AHRQ.

Host Communities: Analyzing the Role and Needs of Communities that take in Disaster Evacuees in the Wake of Major Disasters and Catastrophes. United States Senate.

Urban to Rural Evacuation PDF: Planning for Population Surge. National Opinion Research Center: University of Chicago.

The Storm and the Aftermath. The New England Journal of Medicine.

Dobalian A, Claver M, Fickel JJ. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the Department of Veterans Affairs: a conceptual model for understanding the evacuation of nursing homes. Gerontology. 2010; 56(6):581-8. doi: 10.1159/000302713. Epub 2010 Mar 24.

Ricchetti-Masterson K, Horney J. Social Factors as Modifiers of Hurricane Irene Evacuation Behavior in Beaufort County, NC. PLOS Currents Disasters. 2013 Jun 5 [last modified: 2013 Jun 6]. Edition 1. doi: 10.1371/currents.dis.620b6c2ec4408c217788bb1c091ef919.