Protect your health following a floodWith the severe weather and flooding in Superior and Douglas County, the Douglas County Health and Human Services Department is recommending several steps to protect your health.
With the severe weather and flooding in Superior and Douglas County, the Douglas County Health and Human Services Department is recommending several steps to protect your health.
Hand washing, for example, is simple, basic hygiene, and it is the single most important thing you can do to protect your health when you clean up after a disaster.
Other things people should be aware of when cleaning up a flood damaged home:
• When salvaging household items a good rule of thumb to follow is – when in doubt, throw it out.
• If you have wet carpeting, pull up waterlogged carpet immediately to prevent further floor damage.
• Carpet pads cannot be saved, they must be removed and discarded.
• Attempt to save carpets or throw rugs only if they would be very expensive to replace.
• Clean and dry your floors and sub-flooring thoroughly before re-carpeting.
• If you have wet floors or woodwork, remove any moisture or debris.
• Scrub floors and woodwork within 48 hours, using a stiff brush, water, detergent and disinfectant.
• Allow all wood to dry thoroughly.
• If you have wet furniture, discard upholstered furniture if it has been exposed to water or contaminated material.
• Clean, rinse and disinfect wood furniture and place wood furniture outside in a shady area so it will dry slowly.
• Use bleach to kill mold If materials are still wet or moist after 24-48 hours; you should assume they have mold growing on them.
• Disinfect floors or wood surfaces using a solution of ¼ - ½ cup bleach in a gallon of water.
• If mold has already begun to grow, use a stronger solution, approximately ½ gallon of bleach to a five-gallon pail of water in a well-ventilated area.
• Discard items in soft packaging or screw-top glass bottles that may have touched floodwater, or been in contact with contaminated material. Commercially canned goods in metal cans or rigid plastic can sometimes be saved.
• If power is out for two hours or less; the food in your refrigerator and freezer will be safe. Keep doors closed as much as possible.
• If power is out for more than two hours, a freezer that is half full will hold food safely for up to 24 hours. A full freezer will hold food safely for 48 hours. Do not open the freezer door if you can avoid it. In the refrigerated section, pack milk, other dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, gravy, and spoilable leftovers into a cooler surrounded by ice. Inexpensive Styrofoam coolers are fine for this purpose.
Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of your food right before you cook or eat it. Throw away any food that has a temperature of more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.