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Health District offers Tips on Flood Damage Cleanup
XENIA -- The recent severe storm has caused extensive flooding in the Miami Valley.
aWhen the water recedes, mold may grow in your home and endanger your health,a Greene County Health Commissioner Melissa Howel said. aProper cleaning and moisture removal will result in a healthier home, especially for those with respiratory illnesses such as asthma.a
The Greene County Combined Health District says care must be taken to clean and completely dry any areas of the home that have gotten wet from floodwaters to prevent structural damage and adverse health effects from mold.
The Heath District offers tips to begin cleaning up after the storm while staying safe and healthy.
Flood water is not only a nuisance, but it also can contain potentially dangerous materials, such as fecal matter from overflowing sewage systems, agricultural runoff and chemicals from industrial areas. Wading in flood waters can also be a cause of infection or result in a variety of injuries. Eating or drinking anything contaminated by flood water can cause diarrheal disease.
Follow these tips to stay healthy during and after the flood:
Flooding in Your Area
aC/ Tune into local radio and TV stations to see if your area is under a boil alert for drinking water.
aC/ If you have a private water system (well) or sewage treatment system that was affected by flood waters or electrical power issues, follow the fact sheets that can be found at the Ohio Department of Healthas website here.
* Do not allow children to play in flooded areas.
* Practice good hygiene (Wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer if soap is not available) after contact with flood waters. Wash children's hands frequently (always before meals).
Cleaning Your Home After a Flood
Cleaning and sanitizing your household after an emergency is important to help prevent the spread of illness and disease. Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles during cleanup of affected area.
* Keep children and pets out of the affected area until cleanup has been completed.
* Do not allow children to play with toys that have been contaminated by flood water and have not been disinfected.
* Remove and discard items that cannot be washed and disinfected (such as, mattresses, carpeting, carpet padding, rugs, upholstered furniture, cosmetics, stuffed animals, baby toys, pillows, foam-rubber items, books, wall coverings, and most paper products).
* Remove and discard drywall and insulation that has been contaminated with sewage or flood waters.
* Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces (such as flooring, concrete, molding, wood and metal furniture, counter tops, appliances, sinks, and other plumbing fixtures) with hot water and laundry or dish detergent. Follow by sanitizing with household bleach.
- Read and follow all safety instructions on any product you use.
- Never mix bleach with ammonia or any other cleaner.
- Try not to breathe in product fumes. If using products indoors, open windows and doors to allow fresh air to enter.
- Refer to the Centers for Disease Control website here for more information on using bleach.
aC/ Help the drying process by using fans, air conditioning units, and dehumidifiers.
aC/ After completing the cleanup, wash your hands with soap and warm water. Use water that has been boiled for 1 minute (allow the water to cool before washing your hands).
aC/ Wash all clothes worn during the cleanup in hot water and detergent. These clothes should be washed separately from uncontaminated clothes and linens.
aC/ Seek immediate medical attention if you become injured or ill.
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