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Health Precautions after rain and Floods

Disease Prevention Precautions

Do not drink water from rivers or lakes in the flooded areas. Contaminated flood waters may have impacted the rivers in flooded areas, and the drinking water is not be safe to drink. 

Do not eat or drink anything exposed to flood water, or that may have gone bad due to lack of power to your refrigerator. Remember, “When in doubt, toss it out”.  

Minimize skin contact with flood water, especially cuts and sores. Keep them clean and covered. 

No one should be in flood water; do not allow children to play in flood water. Remember, even shallow rapidly flowing flood water may sweep you off of your feet. 

Keep contaminated objects, water and hands away from your mouth, eyes and nose. 

Wash hands frequently with soap and clean water, especially after bathroom use, before eating and immediately following contact with flood water or contaminated objects or surfaces.

Injury Prevention Precautions

Do not walk or drive on flooded roads. 

Turn off main power switches if necessary. Air out and wipe dry all appliances and electrical outlets exposed to water before use. 

If you have fuel oil or gas systems, ensure tanks are secure and that all lines are free from breaks. 

Open windows if possible to ventilate and dry the area. Fans can be used to help with drying.

Mosquito Prevention

The large amount of pooled water that remains after a flood provides a breeding ground for mosquitoes.  

Be sure doors and window screens are tight fitting and in good repair to keep mosquitoes out. 

Drain standing water in old tires, tin cans, birdbaths, clean clogged gutters and any other places where mosquitoes might breed.

Personal Health Reminders

It is critical to remember good, basic hygiene practices during this time. 

Always wash your hands with soap and warm water that has been disinfected. 

If you receive a puncture wound or a wound contaminated with feces or saliva, have a doctor determine whether a tetanus booster is necessary based on individual records. Contact your provider regarding any vaccinations needed. A tetanus booster is indicated if you were in direct contact with flood waters and you have not had a tetanus vaccination in the last 5 years.


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