Are You Prepared for a Flood?
The following is information you need to stay safe in case a flood happens near you.
Before a Flood
Listen to a radio or television for the latest storm information.
Fill bathtubs, sinks, and jugs with clean water in case water becomes contaminated. Sanitize the sinks first by using bleach. Rinse and then fill with clean water.
Bring things indoors.
Move valuables, such as jewelry, papers, and pictures to upper floors or higher elevations.
During the Flood
Do not drive through a flooded area. If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go another way.
Do not walk through flooded areas.
Stay away from downed power lines and electrical wires.
Watch for animals, especially snakes.
After the Flood
Before entering a building, check for structural damage. Don’t enter if there is a chance the building may collapse.
Upon entering a building, do not use candles, cigarette lighters, matches, or other open flames, since gas may be trapped inside. Instead use a flashlight.
Flood waters pick up sewage and chemicals from surrounding areas. If your home has been flooded, protect your family’s health by cleaning up your house right way. Throw out food and medicine that may have come into contact with flood water.
Until local authorities say that your water supply is safe, vigorously boil water five minutes before drinking it or using it for food preparation.
Watch for steps and floors that are slippery with mud and covered with debris, including broken glass and nails.
Protecting Your Home, Food and Water During a Flood
If flooding or other natural disasters occur in your area, the following links provide information to help you assess your food and water supply. You will also find information in the links below about how to protect your home and purify your water supply. The Environmental Health division of South Central Public Health District handles well and septic system questions, as well as food supply information for businesses. Environmental Health inspectors and subject matter experts work in SCPHD offices in Bellevue, Burley, Gooding, Jerome, Rupert, and Twin Falls.
How to Purify Contaminated Water
Remember, bringing water to a rolling boil for 1 minute will kill most organisms. Boiling will not remove chemical contaminants.
"Emergency Disinfection of Drinking Water"
Includes step-by-step directions about boiling water and using chlorine disinfection methods.
"Food and Water in an Emergency"
A quick fact sheet to help you determine how much food and water your family may need during an emergency, and how to find hidden sources of water in your home. It also contains information about purifying water and the types of supplies you should include in an emergency kit.
Cleaning up Mold After a Flood
After natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods, excess moisture and standing water contribute to the growth of mold in homes and other buildings. When returning to a home that has been flooded, be aware that mold may be present and may be a health risk for your family.
For information about cleaning up mold in your home, visit the following website: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/mold/protect.asp
For Your Home
"Floods - What You Should Know"
Extensive information about flood readiness and cleanup from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"Food and Water in an Emergency" (booklet)
An extensive planning guide for disasters, including floods.
"Food Safety for Consumers Returning Home After a Hurricane and/or Flooding"
How to assess if your food and water supplies are safe.
"FDA Offers Valuable Food Safety Information for Hurricane Aftermath"
This was prepared for people affected by Hurricane Katrina, however it contains good information about how to protect your food supply if the power goes out.
For Your Business
"FSIS/FDA Guidelines for Retail and Foodservice Establishments Affected by Natural or Other Disasters"
A guide for business owners re-establishing service following a disaster.