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Webinar: Preventing and Monitoring Infectious Disease Risks in Post-Disaster Shelters

February 5 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast in August of 2017, causing record flooding and displacing tens of thousands of Harris County residents. Just one month later, Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida leading to nearly 80,000 people across the state staying in emergency shelters. In the wake of these disasters, shelters were set up to care for residents displaced by the storms and their after-effects. Robust surveillance to monitor for infectious disease threats and ensure the safety of shelter residents was critical, particularly because infections can spread very quickly in shelter settings where individuals are living in close quarters. During this webinar, participants will hear from the Florida Department of Health and Harris County Public Health regarding their unique response experiences. More information and registration are available here.

After attending the webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss post-hurricane public health surveillance activities related to disease identification and control in a large evacuation shelter;
  • Describe communication strategies for shared situational awareness between state and local health department staff;
  • Identify potential challenges and complications related to surveillance in shelter settings and propose strategies to overcome them; and
  • Compare two local health departments’ experiences with identifying infectious diseases and outbreaks in shelters and implementing effective control measures to prevent further spread of illness.


Leann Liu, MD, MS, serves as the Deputy Manager of the Surveillance and Epidemiology Unit at Harris County Public Health. She has twelve years of experience in chronic and infectious disease surveillance, public health emergency response, and epidemiologic research.  She has participated in a variety of public health emergency responses including West Nile virus and Zika outbreaks, Ebola, and Hurricane Harvey response.

Danielle Rankin is the Infection Control Assessment and Response Epidemiologist in the State Health Care-Associated Infections Program, in which she conducts infection control assessments across varying levels of healthcare facilities in response to clusters or outbreaks of multidrug-resistant organisms. Danielle was previously a part of the 2016-2018 Florida Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Fellow Class and served in Orange County, FL. During her time as a Florida EIS Fellow, she was the lead investigator of outbreak investigations, most notably an outbreak of Verona Integron-Encoded Metallo-Beta-Lactamase-Producing Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Danielle was also deployed to Monroe County, FL for disaster response to Hurricane Irma. During this deployment, Danielle led and responded to an Influenza A outbreak associated with a hurricane shelter. She has also presented at national conferences including CSTE and ISDS. Danielle holds a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology and Global Communicable Diseases from the University of South Florida.

Katie Kendrick, MPH  is an Immunizations Surveillance Epidemiologist at the Florida Department of Health. In her role, Katie coordinates immunization surveillance activities statewide to define, monitor, and improve immunization rates. During emergency responses, Katie leads the management and analysis of data collected through shelter surveillance activities. Katie earned her Master of Public Health in Global Epidemiology from Emory University and has worked at both the state and local levels of public health.


February 5
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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