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DOH Cautions To Avoid Flood Water

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

September 18, 2017


DOH Cautions To Avoid Flood Water

Contact:
Communications Office
NewsMedia@flhealth.gov
(850) 245-4111

Tallahassee, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health is urging residents to avoid direct contact with floodwaters. Flood water may contain fecal matter from sewage systems, and septic tanks, agricultural and industrial waste and other bacteria.

There may also be unseen hazards under the water in areas that received storm surge or freshwater flooding. Flood waters can also mask debris, downed power lines and other hazards.

Basic hygiene is very important during this emergency period. Always wash your hands with soap and water after helping in cleanup activities and after handling items contaminated by floodwater or sewage. To determine if your area has an active boil water notice, check with your utility company or click here.

If you have open cuts or sores exposed to the floodwater, keep them as clean as possible by washing them with soap and disinfected or boiled than cooled water. Apply antibiotic cream to reduce the risk of infection. If a wound or sore develops redness, swelling or drainage, see a physician.

Do not allow children to play in floodwater. They can be exposed to water contaminated with fecal matter.

Do not allow children to play with toys that have been in floodwater until the toys have been disinfected. Use 1/4 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water to disinfect toys and other items.

For further information, please contact your local county health department or visit www.floridahealth.gov or www.FloridaDisaster.org.

During severe weather and other emergencies, you can count on active alerts from the department's official social media accounts. One of the fastest ways to receive official and accurate health-related information is to monitor @HealthyFla on Twitter and on Facebook.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.