Posts Tagged ‘flood’

Staying safe after a flood or other natural disaster

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

rainFlooding can have devastating effects on your home and the community. After a flood or other natural disaster, there may still be many dangers. It is important to take the appropriate precautions when you are returning home or if you are living in a temporary shelter.

Cleanup

  • All hard surfaces, including walls, floors, and counter-tops should be cleaned with soap and water and disinfected with a solution of 1 cup of bleach to 5 gallons of water.
  • Wash all sheets, towels, and clothes in hot water (or have them dry cleaned).
  • Mattresses and furniture should be air dried in the sun and then sprayed with a disinfectant.
  • Any carpeting should be steam-cleaned.
  • Throw away any objects that cannot be cleaned and disinfected.

Health and safety

  • Keep children and pets away from the area until cleanup is complete.
  • Always wash your hands with soap and water after touching anything that has been in flood water or if you touch flood water.
  • Wear waterproof boots, gloves, and goggles during cleanup, especially if there was any contamination with sewage.
  • If you get a deep cut or wound, check with your health care provider to see if a tetanus shot is necessary.
  • Listen for any recommendations from local or state health departments.

If you’re pregnant

  • Drink plenty of bottled water and rest as often as you can.
  • Seek prenatal care, even if it isn’t with your typical provider.  And make sure that the provider is aware of any health conditions that you may have.
  • If you are in a shelter, make sure that the staff knows you are pregnant (or if you think you may be pregnant).
  • If you do not have any prescription medications that you need, contact your provider and the pharmacy to try to get them.
  • Make sure you avoid infections and other exposures that may be harmful. This would include fumes, flood water, and other toxins. Let others do the cleanup.
  • Even though you are taking care of others, make sure you take care of yourself too. Try to find healthy ways to reduce stress and talk to others about your feelings.
  • If you have any signs of preterm labor, call your health care provider or go to a hospital right away.

Other hazards

  • Shut off electrical power, natural gas, or propane tanks to avoid fire, electrocution, or explosions.
  • Avoid downed power lines.
  • If you smell gas or suspect a leak, leave your house right away and notify the gas company and police or fire department. Do not return to your home until you have been told it is safe.
  • Do not operate any gas-powered equipment (such as a generator) indoors. This can cause carbon monoxide to build up inside your home.
  • Avoid swiftly moving water (even if it is shallow). Cars can be swept away quickly. Make sure children do not play in flood water.

The CDC has more information about what to do after a flood. They also have helpful information for children.

Have questions? Email us at AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

Rain, rain, go away!

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

The last few weeks, I feel like I have been living in a sponge.  Now after all the rain we have had, my husband and I are on the lookout for mold.  Mold is something that exists everywhere there is moisture.  We can’t get away from it, but we can try to clean it out of our homes for a safer living environment.  Read more about protecting your baby from mold.

Mold growth often looks like spots. It can be many different colors, including green and grey, and it can smell musty. If you can see or smell mold somewhere in your home, there may be a health risk to you and your children.

Some people are bothered more by mold than others. A baby who is sensitive to mold may have:
• A runny nose
• A scratchy throat
• Sneezing
• Coughing
• Red or itchy eyes
• A skin rash
Sometimes reactions can be more serious. Mold can cause asthma attacks. Babies who have serious lung problems are at greater risk than other babies.

With all the horrendous storms that have been pounding down across the United States, rain has become an enemy to many communities.  Once the floodwaters subside, mold is something we really need to guard against.  The EPA says if you suspect that the heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC) system may be contaminated with mold (it is part of an identified moisture problem, for instance, or there is mold near the intake to the system), consult EPA’s guide Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned? before taking further action. Do not run the HVAC system to help dry the place out if you know or suspect that it is contaminated with mold – it could spread mold throughout the building.  Here is where you can read more about flood cleanup.