Floodwater precautions provided for public health

In response to widespread flooding, County Executive L. Brooks Patterson urges citizens to follow these safety precautions from the Oakland County Health Division to help minimize possibilities of illness, serious injury, or drowning:

Stay out of flooded areas It is important that everyone stay out of flooded areas due to risk of injury and potential contamination from hazardous raw sewage:

- Stay off all flooded roadways, water may be much deeper than it appears.

- Respect road closure barriers.

Do not use water from a private well that has flooded Water from wells impacted by flooding should not be used until it is tested for safe drinking. This water is not safe for washing, cooking, or consumption of any kind. Water should be collected from safe places such as local municipal water supplies, wells outside of flooded areas, or bottled water should be purchased.

Take safety precautions before cleaning out flooded basements It is important to take certain safety precautions before beginning the clean-up process:

- Make sure gas and electricity have been turned off.

- If at all possible, open all windows to the flooded area in order to let any built-up gases vent out of the house.

- Use flashlights in flooded areas and NEVER use matches, lighters, or lanterns. They may cause an explosion if the flames mix with any built-up gases.

- Finally, wear rubber gloves, protective clothing (preferably disposable), waders, or boots, and cover all open cuts and sores with adhesive bandages.

Find more information by visiting www.oakgov.com/health or find Public Health Oakland on Facebook and Twitter @publichealthOC.

Published: Wed, Aug 13, 2014