It is important for individuals to consider the safety of themselves and their families during current flooding conditions in South Central Nebraska. If you experience flooding in your area, you need to be alert to some potential health hazards.
Avoid entering flood waters. Flood waters can cause individuals to drown, cause illness, and damage personal goods. If you are approaching a roadway that is covered in water, it is important to remember ‘Turn around, Don’t Drown.’ As little as 2 feet of rushing water can carry away SUVs and trucks. Use caution when in recreational waters during flooding.
If you have water in your basement or ground floor, also be alert to electrical hazards. Never enter standing water in which there is a plugged in electrical appliance. If you must enter that area, turn off the electrical supply to that area (only if that electrical breaker panel is in a dry location) prior to stepping into water or onto damp surfaces.
After the floodwaters recede, take precautions while attending to personal property. Wash your hands frequently when in contact with flood waters. Do not drink water from private wells that have been contaminated by waters, and if you are unsure about the water, boil the water prior to drinking.
Mold can grow within 24-48 hours of flooding in homes. Prevent mold by drying the areas affected by floodwaters as quickly as possible, and by cleaning hard surfaces with detergent and then sanitizing with a solution of no more than 1 cup of bleach per gallon of water (never mix any other household cleaners with bleach).
For more information on this topic, call Two Rivers Public Health Department at (888) 669-7154 or visit www.trphd.org.
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