Hurricane style

Martha Engel’s tank top and rubber boots are a stark contrast to the dress she wore for her wedding reception. She tried to save the dress by airing it out on the front porch of her Bayou Shores Drive home in Galveston after

Hurricane Ike.

Photo by Jennifer Reynolds

One thing you can count on with hurricanes, they happen when it’s hot.

So it’s necessary to have the right clothing to get you through the oppressively muggy days after a storm, when power is out and cool breezes are scarce.

Here’s how to build a catastrophe casual wardrobe.

Foot forward

Try to stay out of the toxic floodwaters, especially if you have open wounds.

But if you must walk in the water, have the right shoes.

One of the most astonishing sights after Hurricane Ike was watching people walk through floodwaters in the island’s downtown wearing flip flops.

You could hear glass crunching under their feet. Sharp debris, rebar and nails lurked everywhere.

Your best bet is to invest in a cheap pair of tennis shoes or hiking boots.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend wearing rubber boots if you’re going to be slogging through nasty water that might contain sewage. But rubber boots aren’t comfortable for getting around town.

Whatever you buy for the hurricane, don’t spend a lot — you’ll end up tossing them.

Make sure you have plenty of clothes handy.

Doing laundry becomes extremely tricky when the water systems and power fail. Stock up on lightweight pants and shirts, thick socks and breathable underwear.

Make sure to have caps and sun hats handy. Invest in long-sleeve shirts with good UV protection.

Protect yourself

Be ready for cleanup. Always remember flood water might contain sewage.

Thousands of residents and business owners got a crash course in mucking out houses and buildings. Along with rubber boots, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommend you wear rubber gloves and goggles during cleanup.

Decontamination

Wash all clothes during cleanup in hot water and detergent.

The clothes should be washed separately from uncontaminated clothes and linens, according to health officials.

Wash clothes contaminated with flood or sewage water in hot water and detergent.

Health officials recommend using a laundromat for washing large quantities of clothes and linens until your on-site wastewater system has been professionally inspected.

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