Post-storm Safety and Health Tips
- Throw away food that may have come in contact with flood or storm water.
- Discard canned foods that are bulging or damaged.
- Throw away food that has an unusual color or odor.
- Throw away perishable foods left unrefrigerated for two hours or more.
- While power is out, keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
- If possible, add dry ice if power is expected to be off for more than 4 hours. Wear gloves when handling dry ice.
- Local authorities will announce if tap water is safe for drinking or to use for cooking or bathing. Follow their instructions.
- To disinfect water:
- Heat water to a boil for one minute to kill bacteria.
- Use water purification tablets.
- Do not use purified water with infant baby formulas. Use only canned or boiled baby formulas.
- Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas that is poisonous to breathe.
- Don't run a car in an attached garage, even if the door is open.
- Don't use a generator, pressure washer, charcoal grill, camp stove or any other gas or charcoal device in your home.
- Don't heat your home with a gas oven.
- Call 911 immediately if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning,such as as feeling dizzy, lightheaded or nauseated.
- Do not drive any type of vehicle through water.
- If you are caught in area where floodwater is rising, wear a life jacket or use some form of flotation device
- During and following a flood, prevent mosquito bites by wearing long pants and shirts. Also, use insect repellents that contain DEET.
- Stay away from damaged buildings until they have been certified as safe by a government authority.
- Immediately leave any building if you hear shifting noises.
- Avoid wild or stray animals. Call animal control to handle animals.
- Call animal control immediately to report dead animals for proper disposal.
- To prevent contact with rodents, remove all food sources and garbage as soon as possible.
- Following a hurricane or a tropical storm, snakes will attempt to get to dry land and hide under debris or other objects.
- If you see a snake, back away slowly.
- If you are bitten by a snake try to remember its color and shape. Once bitten remain still and call 911.
- Never touch a fallen power line.
- Call the power company to report downed lines.
- If electrical circuits and equipment have gotten wet, turn off the power at the main breaker or fuse box to your home and call the power company.
- Do not burn candles, if possible, and never leave candles unattended.
- Clean up and dry out the building quickly, within 24 to 48 hours.
- Open doors and windows and use fans.
- To prevent mold growth, clean wet items and surfaces with detergent and water.
- To remove mold growth, wear rubber gloves, open windows and doors, and clean with a solution of 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water.
- Throw away porous items such as carpet and upholstered furniture that cannot be dried quickly.
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