Flood Cleanup Reminders From OSHA

In dealing with the recovery efforts from Hurricane Sandy, we felt it would be helpful to provide some flood cleanup reminders. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), here are some important safety tips to consider when dealing with flood water:

  • Before working in flooded areas, be sure that your tetanus shot is current (given within the last 10 years). Wounds that are associated with a flood should be evaluated for risk; a physician may recommend a tetanus immunization.
  • Consider all water unsafe until local authorities announce that the public water supply is safe.
  • Do not use contaminated water to wash and prepare food, brush your teeth, wash dishes, or make ice.
  • Keep an adequate supply of safe water available for washing and potable water for drinking.
  • Be alert for chemically contaminated flood water at industrial sites.
  • Use extreme caution with potential chemical and electric hazards, which have great potential for fires and explosions. Floods have the strength to move and/or bury hazardous waste and chemical containers far from their normal storage places, creating a risk for those who come into contact with them. Any chemical hazards, such as a propane tank, should be handled by the fire department or police.
  • If the safety of a food or beverage is questionable, throw it out.
  • The presence of wild animals in populated areas increases the risk of diseases caused by animal bites (e.g., rabies) as well as diseases carried by fleas and ticks. Seek immediate medical care for all animal bites, especially after a flood.

We would like to wish all of those impacted by Hurricane Sandy a safe and speedy recovery!