BEFORE A FLOOD DAMAGE CLEAN UP
Before starting a flood damage cleanup, it is important to note that dangers still exist, chemicals, sewage and other contaminants may still be present; there can also be the presence of electrical, fire, biochemical, physical and other hazards.
In a flood damage cleanup, it is important that everyone involved in the flood damage cleanup to be equipped with goggles, hardhats, watertight boots (steel toe if possible), heavy work gloves and reflector vests.
Proper precaution must be taken into consideration, for those involved in a flood damage clean up, they must realize that the area in unstable, there is the presence of threats that could harm the body such as, sharp edged debris, body fluids, blood, animal or human remains and other biological and chemical hazards are still present within the area.
IMPORTANT TIPS AS PART OF FLOOD DAMAGE CLEAN UP
Before flood damage clean up make sure to cover all open wounds and cuts with a waterproof plaster strip to avoid it from being contaminated.
Raw or fresh food must be thoroughly cleaned or discarded, avoid salvaging damaged food as it is contaminated with chemicals and sewage brought by the flood.
Avoid eating fruits and vegetables grown in your backyard which have been covered by flood water. Wait for at least another two weeks before eating vegetables that have not been damaged (still in the garden).
Utensils for eating and preparing food must be disinfected and cleaned.
Silverware must be boiled as the use of bleach may tarnish silver.
Sealed canned goods can be immersed and washed in a disinfectant solution, (it is important to properly label the canned goods with a waterproof marker for proper identification in the future).
Discard food in glass jars.
Discard crown-capped bottles.
Make sure to disinfect all water taps before using them for the first time.
Food storage and preparation surfaces such as refrigerators, cupboards etc must be washed down with disinfectant. Drying will help in further destroying bacteria and germs left behind by the flood. Good ventilation and heating can speed up the drying process.
Upon entry into your household, it is recommended that you ventilate the house. Proper ventilation will aid in faster drying process.
During flood damage clean up, avoid use of electrical equipment located in wet or damp areas also, avoid switching on any electrical equipment immediately after returning to your household, this may result to more damages and could cause life-threatening injuries. Unplug all electrical equipment and turn off the main circuit breaker upon entering your household.
Launder all clothes, beddings, children's toys, soft, fabric and furnishings at hot wash (60 degrees centigrade and above) to destroy any germs and bacteria that may been carried by the flood water.
Discard all things that are damaged and beyond repair.
Garbage must be drained, wrapped in newspaper and placed inside a container with a tight lid to protect it from vermin and insects.
Thoroughly wash your hands after flood damage clean up.
The Health Department has guidelines on how to disinfect water supplies that have been exposed to flood waters, please consult them for proper guidance.
A tetanus shot can help prevent future problems when working in sewage contaminated waters.