Cleaning Up Safely After Floods

Cleaning Up Safely After Floods
North Coast Public Health Unit is reminding people that from a street drain to a raging river, all flood waters should be considered contaminated.

“To avoid illness from potentially contaminated flood waters, it is important to wash hands with soap and clean water after participating in any flood clean-up activities, and before eating or handling food,” said Greg Bell, Acting Director of Public Health.

“First aid should be applied immediately to any scratches or cuts to reduce chances of infection.”
“It is best to avoid all unnecessary contact with mud and floodwaters and to keep children out of flood affected areas,” Mr Bell said.

Other tips for staying healthy during floods and while cleaning up are:
  • Wear gloves and suitable foot wear when removing mud or debris from homes or yards.
  • Yards can be raked to remove debris and if necessary, hosed down.
  • Don’t try to check electrical appliances and other equipment yourself, seek professional help.
  • Have septic tanks or pipes professionally inspected or serviced if you suspect damage.
  • Avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, use roll-on insect repellent on exposed skin and apply every few hours.
  • To avoid creating mosquito breeding sites in your yard by emptying out pot plant bases and removing all water-holding rubbish.
  • When cleaning up, consider your personal health, drink plenty of clear fluids.  Do not wait until you are thirsty. Take breaks when you can, watch out for heat stress.
Residents and visitors are also reminded to avoid swimming in the ocean, rivers, creeks and lagoons for at least 3 days after the rain has stopped.

“If people are concerned about their health they should first seek advice from their General Practitioner”, Mr Bell said.

Further Information Regarding Safety After Floods Flood Clean-up and Personal Safety Tips

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