Protecting the Health of the Family After a Flood

Manila Flooded
Manila Flooded
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Since the Philippines is being hit by typhoon that causes massive floods all over the place, I think you will find this article useful and a timely read. This one discusses things about you, protecting the whole family after a flood. Here it goes.

Before, during and after a flood event, protecting the health of the family is priority number one. As challenging as it is to deal with the aftermath of a flood, it’s critical to continue to put the family’s health first. Flood cleanup presents multiple risks to the health, including diseases, injuries and chemical hazards.

Diseases, Allergies and Infections

Diarrhea diseases are the most common illness that people encounter after a disaster. Frequent hand-washing, particularly before eating or drinking, is the best defense against contaminants that can cause diarrhea. Because it is so difficult to conduct cleanup chores without cross-contamination, a wide range of infections and diseases from Staphylococcus to Legionnaires’ disease also pose threats to human health after a flood.

Standing water is a breeding ground for bacteria, mold and viruses, some of which can become airborne, causing allergic reactions. Flood water can also contain numerous sharp objects that can cause injuries that lead to infection. Anyone with an open wound should avoid exposure to standing water.

Chemical and Structural Hazards

Spills from solvents and other chemical products can further pollute flood water. If gas lines in the area have been broken or damaged, carbon monoxide can pose significant health and fire hazards. Building materials that contain asbestos or lead can release the harmful substances into the air during a disaster. The water removal process can be hazardous to the health as well, beginning with the removal of water. If the water is pumped out too quickly, for example, pressure from outside can cause walls and floors to collapse.

At-Risk Populations

Small children, pregnant women and people with health problems are particularly at risk in flooded areas and should be kept away from the area until cleanup is completed. Very young children tend to touch their mouths frequently, spreading contamination. Children’s non-porous toys need to be cleaned and sanitized with bleach before children are allowed touch them. People with existing health conditions, pregnant women and their unborn children are particularly vulnerable to disease and infection.

When it comes to salvaging belongings and protecting the home from further damage, the first 48 hours after a disaster are critical. Materials that cannot be thoroughly cleaned and dried within that period may need to be discarded. A home with standing water is a dangerous environment. Whether assessing flood damage after the event or beginning the long cleanup process, the best way to protect family health is to get immediate assistance from cleanup and remediation professionals who are skilled and experienced in conducting disaster restorations safely and efficiently.

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Ron Leyba loves to blog about anything related to Filipinos specially foods and recipes. Visit his article about the 5 Pinoy Recipes to Enhance Your Love Life at his personal blog.