All Points Medical Waste Blog

What happens to medical waste after a hurricane?

Key Considerations for safety

As we near the end of Hurricane season all of us would like to breathe a sigh of relief. And while this year was not an easy one, it’s comforting to know that we’ll soon be closing the books on the season and can look forward to the holidays. But after such a turbulent season, the question of what exactly happens to medical waste when a storm hits is something for all of us to consider.

Who’s in charge?

The first question that comes to mind after a devastating storm hits, is who exactly is in charge of cleaning up debris? Officially, the Environmental Protection Agency and FEMA are responsible for the clean-up of hurricane debris. Hurricane Harvey generated more than ten million cubic yards of waste in Houston alone—regular debris that was mixed with medical waste like needles, syringes, tubing, bandages and more. Add to this waste the raw sewage and toxic chemicals created by floodwaters and it would be next to impossible to separate biohazardous waste from regular debris.

What’s in the water?

We all know about the dangers that floodwaters present—and most people wouldn’t consider going into or even near areas of extensive flooding. The dangers of these waters go further than the fact that there could be downed power-lines presenting electrocution risks, because these waters could also contain microbes that increase risk of infection, toxic chemicals, industrial waste, fuel oil, human waste, bandages and other contaminants.

Can we minimize risk?

Unfortunately, nobody can ever accurately predict the damage or destruction that a hurricane or other natural disaster will create. Knowing that a storm is coming is the best defense against damage because preparation is key in these instances. For medical facilities, treatment centers and other related organizations, having your hazardous biomedical waste disposed of on a regular basis by a professional service provider can minimize the possibility of your waste becoming part of the storm debris. Just like trimming trees around your home or office, having all medical waste removed by your provider can assist in keeping it out of floodwaters and safely disposed of.

All Points Medical Waste provides disposal services to a variety of medical facilities throughout South Florida. Our team of highly-trained staff will work with you to create a waste pick-up schedule that will ensure your biomedical and hazardous waste is off-premises and permanently destroyed. Give us a call today at 772.600.4885 to discuss your needs.

Dawn Connelly

Dawn is the vice president of All Points Medical Waste. All Points Medical Waste is a family-owned and operated medical waste disposal and compliance company that has been serving the Treasure Coast, Palm Beaches, and surrounding areas since 1994.
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