“The flood of 2018 will leave devastation behind. We will want to clean up and repair our homes and communities as quickly as we can so we can all move forward with our lives, our families and our livelihoods. However, we need to remember that floodwaters and the remains of floodwaters are dangerous to your health. Some basic precautions can help protect your health as you begin the clean up process.” said Christine Stinson, the administrator for the Marshall County Health Department.
Some Tips To Be Safe After the Storm:
- INJURY PREVENTION: STAY OUT OF THE WATER! Do not drive through standing water.
- FLOOD WATER IS HIGHLY CONTAMINATED! Floodwater is contaminated with E Coli, bacteria and viruses. If you are dealing with a flood-affected property, it is important to protect yourself during the cleanup. Make sure you are up to date on your immunizations, especially Tdap.
o If you are in contact with floodwaters, you should shower as soon as possible to clean away any contamination from the floodwater.
o NEVER DRINK FLOODWATER!
o Wear protective clothing, including gloves and boots, when working in areas that have been affected by floodwater.
o ALL HARD SURFACES, INCLUDING CHILDREN’S TOYS, WHICH HAVE BEEN CONTAMINATED BY FLOODWATER SHOULD BE CLEANED AND PROPERLY DISINFECTED.
- WELL WATER: If your well has been affected by the floodwater, DO NOT use the water until you have disinfected the well and tested the well for presence of bacteria. Directions to disinfect your well can be found on the Marshall County Health Department website at www.co.marshall.in.us or on our Marshall County Health Department Facebook Page.
- SEPTIC SYSTEMS: If you septic system is underwater now, do not panic and attempt to pump the tank. Let the system rest by limiting your water use during the flood. Once floodwaters have receded, have the septic tanks cleaned & pumped by a licensed septic pumper. Have your soil absorption field checked by a certified septic inspector to see your system has been damaged.
- FOODS: Do not eat foods that have come into contact with flood waters. Throw away food that cannot be kept cold or properly heated due to lack of power.
- FIRST AID AND WOUND CARE: Immediately clean all wounds with soap and clean water. If you are dealing in floodwater or are cleaning up after floodwater, make sure you are current on your tetanus vaccination!
- MOLD: Mold is always a concern after a flood event. Mold can begin to grow quickly after a flood. Dry the area that has been affected by the floodwater as quickly as possible. Some materials such as moldy clothing, ceiling tiles, sheet rock and carpeting may need to be removed and replaced. When in doubt, take it out!! Removal and cleaning are important because even dead mold can cause allergic reactions in some people.
If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Marshall County Health Department at 574-935-8598.