How to stay healthy during hurricane flooding. When natural disasters like a hurricane strikes, it is only natural to strive for survival. Besides, that is what we have literarily been doing as human beings. In order to survive, one needs to live, and not just to live, but one needs to live healthily. Few things are vital to a healthy lifestyle, which are still significant even during unfortunate events like hurricane flooding. Exercise, proper nourishment, and quality rest are the important elements that promote healthy living. The balance in those dynamics can easily be affected during hurricanes. People have to move out temporarily on short notices, which is very demanding. That is why home insurance can really boost your recovery from a disastrous flooding event. Flooding of your home can even occur from a leak in your air conditioning system, wreaking more havoc on your HVAC than you can imagine, so insuring your home is a great move.

Changing bases have never been fun even when planned, changing mail address, getting correspondences, arranging and unpacking, getting used to the new place, living under a new roof, among other things is enough hassle to make it unbearable. Therefore, when one is lucky enough to move out of an area subjected to hurricane flooding, it can still be debilitating. If you need help with your plumbing after a flood, contact a reputable plumbing company with experience in handling emergency plumbing floodwaters.

For some reasons, some people are still caught in these floods, and the need to survive and stay healthy becomes essential. Exercise and rest may seem to occur naturally or not, but it is important to eat. However, it is crucial to be careful not to harm the body by taking into consideration that food can be easily compromised and contaminated during this period.

Nonetheless, it is paramount to keep getting nourished properly, hence the need for maintaining the available food. One of the most crucial things to note is to store food at suggested temperatures. Remember that food that is perishable requires more attention.

For instance, extra care should be given to perishables like meat, fish, milk, milk products, and eggs. If these foods are not stored at the required temperatures necessary to preserve them, they can make you sick. In this case, overheating or cooking them will not prevent the discomfort and malaise that will follow.

Furthermore, endeavor not to eat or drink anything that has come in contact with the water from the flood. This is because they could have been compromised especially food products that are not canned.

The Most Effective Method to Sanitize Jars and Cans of Foodstuffs After a Flood

  • One of the simple but effective things that can be done is to get rid of the brand stickers from the bottles, jars, and cans, which can harbor contaminants.
  • Also, wash the jars, and soak them in a solution containing a glass (8 oz/250 mL) of unscented household bleach (5.25% concentration) that has been mixed with five gallons of water.
  • Enable the washed jar(s) or can(s) to air dry.
  • Use a marker to tag the jars again and do not forget to put the expiry date on them as well. This is a great precaution not to be taken for granted or with levity.

  

Instructions to Disinfect Compartments, Ledges, Pots, Container, Dishware and Utensils:

  • During the period of hurricane flooding, make it a habit (get a checklist to help if possible) to wash everything that will be used to eat or drink. Rinse them thoroughly, and disinfect them painstakingly if they may come in contact with food at any point.
  • Examples of things to be careful with include containers, dishes, utensils, pans, bowls, cups, and ledges.
  • Discard any wooden cutting boards or bowls that are available because you will not be able to sterilize them effectively.
  • Add one tablespoon of unscented household liquid bleach (5.25% concentration) to one gallon of water, and soak any other item in the mixture for a quarter of an hour.
  • Air-dry it afterward.

 

Step-by-Step Instructions to Make Tap Water Safe to Drink:

Water can easily be contaminated during flooding and unsafe for drinking. Regional/Area Health Departments will decide if water from the tap can be safe for drinking. However, if the water is not portable or contaminated, at that point the guidelines below will be of great value:

  • The more appropriate option will be to go for the bottled water that is sealed and devoid of any contact with the floodwater. Bottled water is a great way of getting clean and fresh water during this period if they are available and accessible.
  • In the event that you do not have bottled water, you should boil water to make it safe for cooking or drinking. Water that has been boiled at a hundred degrees is devoid of most microorganisms that may cause sickness.
  • However, if you are stuck with water that is cloudy, filter it by channeling it through clean fabrics or enable it to settle patiently, and decant the clean and clear water.
  • After the decantation, it is essential that you boil the water to kill any germs that may have escaped the decantation and/or
  • Allow the boiled water to cool, and have it kept in clean jars or bottles with proper covers.
  • However, some individuals may not have power or gas to boil water for drinking let alone cooking, there is a way out. Water can be safeguarded by adding household bleach. The bleach does not guarantee that all the contaminants are dead, but most of them will be, and the immune system of the body can fight off the rest.
  • The best ways to address water that cannot be boiled is filtration and decantation. Then, add 1/8 teaspoon (or 8 drops) of odorless household liquid bleach (5.25% concentration) for every gallon of water. Make sure to mix it well and let it remain for 30 minutes before you using it for drinking or cooking.
  • Store sterilized water in clean compartments with lids all the time.

 

Try not to Drive In Flooded Areas — Turn Around, DON’T Drown

Floodwater presents a potential danger of drowning for people or animals, with their capacity to swim insignificant. Rapidly moving shallow water can be destructive, and even those shallow water bodies that are stagnant can be unsafe for young children as well.

  • Adhere strictly to caution and warning signs about flooded streets or areas every time.
  • Do not drive in flooded zones, being in a vehicle will not shield you from the dangers that accompany The cars may be stuck in flood, or they may be flooded as well with everything inside it.

avoid floodwaters

Avoid Floodwater at all Cost

Floodwaters contain numerous things that may hurt the health and wellbeing of a person. There is absolutely no way of knowing precisely what is in floodwater at any point in time. Floodwater can contain:

  • Downed electrical cables
  • Human waste as well as animal waste
  • Household and medical waste
  • Industrial wastes which could be chemical, biological, and radiological
  • Cancer-causing compounds like Arsenic, Chromium, and Mercury
  • Contaminants that can prompt disease outbreaks
  • Physical objects that could be harmful like planks, trees, and cars
  • Wild creatures like Rodents and Snakes

Other Things that can Directly affect the Health of a Person that comes in touch with Floodwater are as Follows:

  • Contaminations of wounds, bruises, or cuts on the skin
  • Skin Rashes
  • Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract
  • Tetanus
  • On rare occasions, some people suffer from Leptospirosis

It is critical to care for yourself or your loved ones if by chance there has been in contact with floodwater, whether there are any signs and symptoms, or not. In as much as the ideal approach to remain healthy is to avoid the floodwater, if it is unavoidable, follow the guidelines below:

  • Wash the region of the body that the floodwater touched with soap, detergent, or cleansers. Also, use clean water as quickly as time permits to rinse off after washing. If you do not have cleansers, soaps, or clean water, use alcohol-based wipes or sanitizers.
  • Give proper attention to wounds and get medical care as soon as it is available.
  • Wash dresses that have been in contact with floodwater in boiling water and antiseptic soaps/detergents before reusing them.
  • If you have no choice and you have to enter floodwater, wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles for protection.

Prevent Injuries or Wounds

There may be sharp materials in floodwater, for example, glass or metal scraps, that can cause wounds leading to infections. The application of first aid instantly is efficacious for healing surface wounds and avoiding further complications that infection may prompt.

In a situation that one gets a cut injury or a puncture wound, or wounds contaminated with fecal matter, soil, or spit, seek medical assistance immediately. As soon as any healthcare personnel is available to make sure they decide if a tetanus booster is necessary.

avoid infections of open wounds and rashes

Avoid Infection of Open Wounds and Rashes

If open injuries and rashes become infected by floodwater, it can be very lethal, especially in the absence of proper medical care. A good example of naturally occurring microorganism in some coastal waters is Vibrios. This microorganism can cause skin infections when they come in contact with an open cut. This can occur during hurricanes flooding, which is why it is crucial to take precautionary actions to protect yourself and your family:

  • Avoid contact with floodwater if you have an open injury.
  • Perfectly cover open injuries with waterproof gauze to decrease the possibility of disease.
  • Prevent infections of open cuts by cleaning with soap and clean water, in the absence of this use alcohol-based sanitizers.
  • If an injury causes inflammation, which is characterized by swelling, fever, redness, or oozing of blood/pus, look for prompt medical assistance.

It is Vital to get Medical Attention as quickly as Time Permits if any of the Following Occurs:

  • There is a foreign material like dirt, wood, metal, or other objects installed in the injury
  • A dog bite or a cut by a dirty object
  • An old injury keeps deteriorating by causing increased agony and soreness, swelling, redness, or fever, which are all signs of inflammation

Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones from Diarrheal Diseases

One of the things that may be flowing around in floodwater is sewage. This is the reason it is unsafe to eat or drink anything that the water from the flood has touched because it can cause diarrhea. The microorganism called E. coli often causes diarrhea, and sometimes another microorganism causes Salmonella disease that is another form of diarrhea.

In order to protect yourself and your loved ones carry out the following precautions to stay healthy:

  • Wash your hands after contact with floodwater. Likewise, make sure to wash the hands of the young ones with soap and water regularly and compulsorily before eating.
  • Restrict kids from playing in the floodwater.
  • Stop children from playing with toys that have been in contact with floodwater and have not been sterilized.
  • Do not bathe in water that might be contaminated with sewage or toxic wastes.
  • Rivers, streams, or lakes are likely to be compromised by water flowing from the flood, so casual swimming in them is prohibited especially during hurricane floods.

Protect Yourself from Animal and Insect Bites

Hurricane can destroy the habitats of animals, insects, and reptiles, so one needs to careful because the floodwater that ensues can harbor these creatures. To safeguard yourself and your family, be cautious and stay away from the floodwater. 

Beware of Electrical Hazards Inside or Outside Your Home.

  • Shut off electrical power and flammable gas or propane tanks in your home to avoid fire, electric shock, or explosions.
  • Avoid being contact with a fallen electrical cable or the surrounding water bodies near it. Call the power firm if possible to report it.
  • Stay away from overhead electrical cables because the hurricane may have caused some damage making them vulnerable, causing them to fall at any time.
  • Do not drive through standing water whenever fallen electrical cables are in the water.
  • If you know anyone has been electrocuted, call or have another person call 911 or any crisis line.

Hurricane flooding can be devastating, but we are survivors, and the best way to do that is by staying healthy till it passes. Listening to instructions and being faithful to precautions goes a long way in being protected from the simple things that can complicate the situation. However, one can never be too careful, some things are unavoidable when these occur seek help and assistance quickly. Help is always on the way, you are not alone!

 

 

References

Floodwater After a Disaster or Emergency | CDC. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/floods/floodsafety.html

Protect Food and Water During Hurricanes and Other Storms. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/food/recallsoutbreaksemergencies/emergencies/ucm2006925.htm