After a hurricane or flood has passed, you may be vulnerable to health risks from the flood waters. At Neptune Flood, we want you to be aware of what may be in the water that you are walking in, as well as drink. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), standing water poses a variety of threats to health which you know about.
If you eat or drink anything that has been contaminated by the water caused by flooding, you are vulnerable to diarrhea. Protection against such unwanted microbes includes:
- Wash hands after coming in contact with flood water.
- Do not let kids play in the water from flooding.
- Wash kids’ hands frequently.
- Toys that have been contaminated by the waters should not be played with until they are disinfected.
Open wounds that have come in contact with the waters can become infected. You can protect yourself and your family by following these steps:
- If you have an open wound, avoid exposure to the waters.
- A clean and open wound should be covered with a waterproof bandage.
- Wash wounds with soap and clean water to keep them as clean as possible.
- Seek immediate medical attention if a wound is red, has swelling or is draining.
Other Health Effects
When the feet are wet or have been in the water for long periods of time, Trench Foot or Immersion Foot can develop. Although it is painful, this condition can be treated and, even better, prevented. Tingling, itching, pain, swelling, blotchiness, and cold skin may be symptoms.
To protect yourself, you should:
- Dry and clean feet thoroughly.
- Wear clean and dry socks.
- Soak affected feet in warm water, between 102° to 110° F for five minutes.
- Do not wear socks when sleeping.
- Obtain medical attention promptly.
Having a wound as well may increase the possibility of infection. Check your feet daily for symptoms that are becoming worse.
Hazards From Chemicals
Because flood waters may have moved containers of chemicals or solvents from their usual storage areas, you should be aware of potential hazards.
Water after flooding contains potential drowning risks for everyone, even the best of swimmers. Moving swiftly, water can also be deadly. Standing water that is shallow can also be a dangerous hazard for small children.
Vehicles can be swept away and do not provide protection from flooded waters; they can also easily stall out.
Downed wires can be dangerous and should be avoided. Additionally, power should be turned off if water has been near electrical circuits and equipment. Do not turn it back on until electrical equipment and circuits have been inspected by a qualified electrician.
Follow any included directions for a portable generator for safety.
Insect Wounds and Animal Bites
The waters may contain animals, insects, and reptiles that have been displaced. Walking through water, you should be alert and, if possible, avoid contact. More information for dealing with bites from animals and insects can be found here.
Since flooding waters can contain sharp objects or metal and glass fragments, care should be taken to avoid any objects that can cause a wound that might lead to infection.
Water may not be safe for drinking. Before the disaster, you should have bottled water on hand as an emergency supply. Water with germs can sometimes be made safe to drink through boiling and disinfecting. However, if the water has been exposed to hazardous chemicals, it will still not be safe to drink.
These are some of the hazards and risks to think about after the advent of flooding. Before the flooding occurs, you should think about adequate insurance to replace items that may have been damaged or lost. Neptune Flood is here to help you with insurance that is backed by Lloyds, one of the largest insurance markets in the world. Maps and technology will help you find the right insurance for your area. With knowledge of avoiding risks and insurance from Neptune Flood, you can be prepared if any flooding does happen.