When severe storms move through the area, one of the most dangerous factors to consider is what happens after the weather passes. You could find your residence and neighborhood beset with floodwaters that can compromise your safety long after the storm has come and gone. If you ever experience such an incident, it’s important that you consider some of the tips offered up by Florida’s Jackson County Health Department.
If you’re outside, then it’s important that you limit your exposure to floodwaters, especially if the rivers of water are deep and fast-moving. Not only should you not walk in this type of water, but you shouldn’t drive in it either. A vehicle operator setting his or her sights on navigating through the water could accidentally plow into a much deeper lake or canal, potentially leading to a fatal catastrophe.
Also understand the more insidious dangers that await those who come into contact with floodwaters. The damp conditions might attract insects or snakes that can bite you and cause serious health repercussions. Even if you aren’t bitten, brief contact with water should prompt you to seek out soap or some kind of sanitizer. By promptly washing yourself with (clean) water, you limit your risk of exposure to contaminants that might lead to a serious illness.
You should also have some options at the ready for those times when your water and food supply are compromised. If you don’t have bottled water around your home when it gets flooded, then you should consider boiling water before you drink it. Food also deserves adequate precautions. If your pantry or kitchen was privy to contact with water during a flood, then it’s best to just throw any affected items out. Canned goods could be salvageable, but you have to be extremely careful. The can itself must be completely sealed, and you have to take pains to wash and disinfect the can prior to consumption of its interior components.
Also understand that there might be some things that are not salvageable. Baby pacifiers, disposable utensils, and wooden cutting boards are a lost cause because it’s incredibly difficult to get such items properly disinfected. Metal utensils, dishes, or various ceramic plates could be cleaned, but you have to be incredibly thorough before you use them again.
Finally, practice good hygiene every step of the way. Wash your hands prior to making any kind of food and after going to the bathroom. Anytime you make contact with items that made contact with water, clean your hands off. Basically, whenever you touch something that could hold various contaminants, it’s best to err on the side of caution and stay clean.