TRURO – Public Health Services urges people affected by this week’s flood to remember there are more concerns than just high water levels.
Public health reminds local residents there are many precautions that must be taken to protect a person’s overall health.
“Flood waters can also sometimes carry sewage, chemicals and other things that can be harmful to our health,” said Dr. Robin Taylor, medical officer of health for the Colchester East Hants Health Authority. “There are a few simple measures that can help us avoid these risks in the days following a flood.”
The following are some things to consider:
- Well water: If you live in a home with a well that has been flooded, do not use the water for drinking, cooking and washing until the well has been properly disinfected and tested to ensure the water is safe. Also, residents should stay away from well pumps during flooding to avoid an electric shock.
Food and medications: Any food that has come into contact with floodwaters needs to be thrown away. If the power has been out, any refrigerated or frozen food that has been at room temperature for more than four hours should be discarded. Medications may no longer be safe if they have been in contact with polluted water or have not been stored as recommended.
Cleaning: Be sure to wear the proper personal protective equipment (gloves, face mask, long sleeved shirts, pants, boots etc). Anything absorbent (drywall, furniture etc.) that has been immersed in the floodwaters will have to be thrown out to avoid the growth of mould. Be sure to turn off the power supply before touching any appliances that are still plugged in and in floodwaters.