Flood relief volunteers warned of health risks

ST. LOUIS - Saint Louis County Executive Steve Stenger and the County Department of Public Health want to remind residents and volunteers that flood waters can contain raw sewage or other dangers and should be considered a threat to public health.

“These heavy rains have caused extensive damage to homes and businesses in Missouri and Illinois,” County Executive Steve Stenger said. “I urge all residents to use extreme caution during this dangerous time.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services wants to remind anyone returning to their flood-damaged home or volunteering with flood clean up to get a booster tetanus vaccine before going near flood waters or in flood damaged buildings and areas. 

Tips from Saint Louis County

  • Do not allow children or pets to play in flood waters or areas that have recently been flooded.
  • Do not allow children or pets to play with toys that have been contaminated by flood water until after the toys have been disinfected.
  • Check regularly on outdoor pets to make sure their area is free of flood water and to ensure that all pets have adequate shelter from inclement weather.
  • Avoid wild animals that have been displaced by flood waters and remind children never to approach a wild animal.
  • Check on elderly and homebound neighbors and relatives to make sure they are safe and aware of the dangers posed by flooding
  • Practice good hygiene (hand washing) after any contact with flood waters or items that have been in flood water.
  • Wash children's hands frequently (especially before meals). 
  • Do not drive through flooded roadways and always pay attention to warning signs.
  • If you become wet, seek warmth and change into dry clothes as soon as possible. Although temperatures are currently above freezing, they are low enough to pose the risk of hypothermia.
  • When cleaning up basements or other flood-affected areas, wear waterproof boots and gloves. Avoid ingestion of any flood water. Use bleach to disinfect and sanitize affected areas and use standard precautions while using bleach (avoid skin contact, inhalation, or ingestion). 

© 2017 KSDK-TV


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