The dangers of a flood are always the obvious ones. Floodwaters are liable to contain toxic chemicals and will inevitably spawn dangerous bacteria. Only if you have your own supply of fresh water for drinking and washing can you keep any cuts or open sores from infection from floodwater-borne microorganisms. Follow the below precautions for you and your family’s safety.
If you need to walk through floodwater only do so wearing boots or waders high enough to protect you from the water. Wash your hands with soap and clean, safe water completely and often. If available, use antibacterial soap, especially when preparing food or eating. Children who suck their thumb or those too young to know the danger are at risk of hand to mouth infection.
Drink no water except bottled water until the water supply has been deemed safe by local officials. Even following the water supply being declared safe, water lines to your home must be disinfected.
Structures that have been flooded can be dangerous. Ceilings can cave in, floors give way and the entire building can collapse with no warning. Have your home inspected by a professional and certified safe for you and your family before moving back in.
If you live in a flood-prone area, keep a waterproof flood survival kit in your home, with the following items: Bottled water, ready-to-eat foods, drinks that don’t require refrigeration, first aid equipment, extra medications, rubber boots, heavy shoes, dry clothing, thermal blankets, flashlights, extra batteries, a battery-operated radio, plastic bags for trash and smaller sealable bags for keeping things dry or just keeping things together and a small set of vitall tools including: a sharp pocket knife, razor-blade knife, adjustable-wrenches, assorted screwdrivers, adjustable pliers and channel-locks, rope, twine and bailing wire, duct tape, electrical tape.
Standing water next to the outside walls of the house could indicate the structure or foundation’s integrity has been compromised it is unsafe to enter. You must have the house inspected by professionals and certified safe for you and your family.
Walk around the outside of the house, looking for loose power lines and signs of gas leaks. You may not be able to smell a broken gas line, but you can probably hear the hiss of escaping gas. If you see, hear or smell anything suspect, call the utility company or emergency services.
Do not light matches, use lighters, smoke or use candles, gas lanterns, camp stoves, or any other open flame around the house until it has been inspected and declared free of any flammable fumes or other fire hazards.
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