When Flooding Comes to Your Town: My Best Tips

A flooded house in North Charleston, South Carolina, after Hurricane Joaquin. Photo by Ryan Johnson, shared via North Charleston/Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.   by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Areas in South Carolina are experiencing an unprecedented emergency—one that many of the affected residents never thought they’d need to prepare for: devastating flooding. “We haven’t seen this level of rain in the low country in a thousand years,” Gov. Nikki Haley said in a press conference. “The flooding is unprecedented and historical,” Dr. Marshall Shepherd, director of the atmospheric sciences program at the University of Georgia, told the Associated Press. The rains are starting to subside, according to The Weather Channel, but there’s more flooding to come from the overflowing rivers. And then there will be the aftermath, which can be as bad as or worse than what happens during the storm. I think devastation caused by flooding is often underrated. People lose everything they own—sometimes even their lives. Here are some of the dangers people are facing—beyond the floodwaters themselves—and what to expect in the days to come. […]

By | October 5th, 2015|Weather|8 Comments

How to Waterproof Your Shoes With Duct Tape

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Here’s a simple, easy to remember tip that could save your feet if you have to work in wet weather. If you don’t have rainboots, you can waterproof your shoes with duct tape. This is an excerpt from my new book, Duct Tape 911: The Many Amazing Medical Things You Can Do to Tape Yourself Together. […]

By | June 2nd, 2014|Cold, Weather|7 Comments

Lessons From the Colorado Floods: When the Disaster Isn’t the One You Prepared For

Colorado National Guardsmen help evacuate people in Boulder County, CO, during the flooding last Thursday. “This event has stunned all of us,” said Colorado Senator Mark Udall. Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway called it “a once in 500 years or 1,000 years situation.” (Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Joseph K. VonNida.) by James Hubbard, MD, MPH K2T5JD8XRNRK My heart goes out to all affected in the recent flooding here in Colorado. Maybe one of the very few good things that comes out of a disaster like this is all of us are reminded of the constant, real threat of disasters. (Few saw this coming. Not here. Not now. Not at this severity.) Because of all the modes of media we have these days to vicariously experience such disasters real-time, we learn from others’ unfortunate experiences how to go forward with a better plan for the future. Here are a few takeaway lessons. […]

By | September 18th, 2013|Weather|35 Comments

How to Survive After the Flood: The Dangers Behind Receding Waters

On Tuesday, October 30th, an NYPD truck drives through the flood Hurricane Sandy left. by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Just because a storm is over doesn’t mean you’re out of danger. Not by a long shot. Even if you’ve done everything right, prepared like a pro, and survived without a scratch, even if the waters have receded, you still need to know what to do after the flood. Because the dirty floodwater has contaminated anything it’s touched, been sprayed on by the wind, everything. And most floodwater has picked up raw sewage along the way. It’s like providing sugar water for ants or free alcohol for investment bankers: germs congregate and thrive in this stuff. […]

By | October 31st, 2012|Weather|12 Comments

How to Avoid a Disaster After the Disaster

New Orleans about a week after Hurricane Katrina in September 2005.* by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Whether it’s a hurricane, earthquake, or tornado, oftentimes as many people get hurt after the event as during it. Here are a few common injuries and diseases that pose dangers after a natural disaster—some I’ll bet you haven’t thought of. […]

By | August 30th, 2012|General, Weather|8 Comments