Fact Sheet: Flood Safety
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KNOW THE FACTS!
When the chance for flooding occurs, there are steps we can take to protect our property and most importantly prevent ourselves from becoming injured or sick.
- Turn off main power switches.
- Air out and wipe dry all appliance and electrical outlets exposed to water before you use them again.
- If you have fuel oil or gas systems, be sure tanks are secure and all lines are free from breaks.
- Pump out standing water and remove all debris.
- Wait to pump until flood waters have receded below basement level.
- Allow debris to drain before disposal.
- Strain away all liquids from trash.
- After straining trash, wrap in newspaper and store in tight-lid garbage cans until pick up.
- Open all windows for drying and ventilation.
- Use electric fans.
- Keep flood waters away from mouth, nose, eyes and skin.
- Do not allow children to play in or near flood water.
- Do not drive your vehicle into a flooded area.
Food and Water Safety
- A good rule to remember during flooding situations or when your power has been off for an extended period of time is “When in doubt, throw it out.”
- Discard all foods exposed to flood waters.
- If refrigerators/freezers have taken in flood waters, discard food stored there.
- If no flood water entered these appliances, but power was lost long enough for foods to thaw, discard all partially thawed foods.
- Discard milk, cheeses and other foods prone to spoilage.
- Clean undented cans with bleach solution.
- Discard all bulging or leaking canned food items.
- Wash contaminated surfaces/objects with warm, soapy water and disinfect with a bleach/water solution, one cap of 5.25 percent chlorine bleach per one gallon of water.
- Wear rubber boots and gloves during cleanup.
How do I prevent disease during floods?
- Outbreaks of communicable diseases after floods are unusual, but flood water can carry microorganisms and other contaminants.
- Avoid skin contact with sewer water, especially cuts and sores. Keep them clean and covered.
- If you should suffer a cut while working in flood or sewer water, contact your physician or the Health District about receiving a tetanus shot.
- Do not allow children to play in areas contaminated by sewage backup.
- Do not eat or drink anything exposed to sewer water.
- Keep contaminated objects, water, and hands away from mouth, eyes and nose.
- Wash hands frequently, especially after bathroom use, before eating and immediately following contact with sewer water or contaminated objects/surfaces.
If you have further questions, please call our Emergency Preparedness Division at (513) 946-7800.
Download a printable version of this fact sheet here.
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2nd Floor, Cincinnati, OH 45219
Phone 513.946.7800 Fax 513.946.7890