AFTER THE FLOOD
After a flood, the physical devastation to personal property and the community
is obvious. These tragic consequences can be compounded by injuries or illness, though,
if certain precautions are not taken to protect your personal health and safety. In
addition to your physical health, you need take to time to consider your mental health
as well. Remember, some sleeplessness, anxiety, anger, hyperactivity, mild depression
or lethargy are normal. If these symptoms are acute or if they persist, however, seek
This information is provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health to help
flood victims protect themselves against diseases and other hazards in the days and
weeks following a flood.
Following a flood, it can be difficult to maintain good hygiene and cleanliness.
Doing so is imperative, however, if the risk of disease is to be minimized.
One of the most important things you can do to prevent the spread of waterborne
disease is to always wash your hands with plenty of soap and clean, warm, running
water. This is particularly important —
before preparing or eating food, handling a baby, smoking, or any other
activity that involves touching something that may enter a person's
mouth (Adults should make sure children do the same.);
after toilet use;
after handling articles contaminated with floodwater or sewage.
When no regular safe water supply is available, use bottled, boiled or chemically
disinfected water for washing hands (and brushing teeth).
Keep wash cloths and dish towels clean. Bacteria can remain on towels and
cloths, so wash linen often with clean water and soap.
Parents need to take special care that their children follow these precautions.
Do not allow children to play in floodwater or in areas that have been flooded. Wash
their hands frequently, especially before meals. Contaminated toys should be
disinfected in a solution of 1 ounce of bleach (1/8 cup) in 2 gallons of water.