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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
July 10, 2013

Red Cross Reports Show That 117 Died Last Fall in Hurricane Sandy

JAMA. 2013;310(2):134. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.7732

The American Red Cross’s tracking system used last fall during and after Hurricane Sandy shows that the superstorm claimed 117 lives. Drowning was the leading cause of storm-related deaths, followed by trauma from being crushed, cut, or struck.

Media reports have indicated that Sandy caused at least 131 deaths. But while official mortality statistics await release, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed Red Cross data collected by volunteers who carry out comprehensive searches for disaster-related deaths. The volunteers examine reports from funeral homes, hospitals, news media, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. They then obtain additional information from medical examiners, physicians, fire and police departments, and family of the deceased.