Safety and preventive measures against floods

We’re going to have another stormy weekend because of typhoon Pepeng so we have to be alert and be prepared, with typhoon Ondoy many were caught unprepared. So I told husband to check and secure our house, to prepare our emergency lights, and first aid kits. As for me, I will pack clothes and ready to eat foods just in case there’ll be flood in our place. We’re just fortunate that our town was not totally affected by typhoon Ondoy last week.

Sadly, we have some friends who lost their houses and belongings from the flood. My daughter also told me that her classmate lost her school things  and textbooks and she asked for help so we already photocopied  my daughter’s notes and textbooks to be given to her classmate when the classes resumed next week.

By the way, I stumble this article from GMANews.TV “What to do if your house is hit by flood waters,” they recommend the following safety and preventive measures against floods, as listed by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

When you first re-enter your home

• Turn off your main power supply if there is still standing water in your home. Do this only if the switch is on a dry location. “If you must enter standing water to access the main power switch, then call an electrician to turn it off.”
• CDC warns that you should never tinker with the power switch or use an electric tool or appliance while standing in water.
• Ask an electrician to check your house’s electrical system before switching on your power supply.
• “If the house has been closed for several days, enter briefly to open doors and windows to let the house air out for a while” for at least 30 minutes.
• CDC says that if your house has been flooded and closed for several days, it may be contaminated with mold or sewage.

When cleaning up your home

• Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles when cleaning up your home. Make sure that children and pets are away from the affected area.
• Throw items that cannot be washed and disinfected, such as mattresses, carpets, rugs, sofa sets, cosmetics, stuffed toys, pilloys, books, wall coverings, paper products.
• “Remove and discard drywall and insulation that has been contaminated with sewage or flood waters.”
• With hot water and detergent, clean hard surfaces like floors, walls, wood and metal furniture, countertops, appliances, sinks, and other plumbing fixtures.
• After the clean-up, wash your hands with soap and warm water that has been boiled for a minute then cooled down after. You may use disinfected water, too.
• With hot water and detergent, wash clothes you’ve worn during the clean-up or those contaminated by flood water or sewage water.
• Outside your home, have your onsite waste-water system professionally inspected and serviced if you suspect damage.
• “Seek immediate medical attention if you become injured or ill.”

When drying out your house

• If an electrician says your power supply is safe to turn on, CDC advises you to use a “wet-dry” shop vacuum to remove standing flood water. You may also use an electric-powered water transfer pump or a sump pump.
• Make sure you wear rubber boots.
• If you do not have electricity yet – or if you have, but it is still unsafe to turn your power supply on – use a portable generator to power equipment to suck standing flood water.
• CDC adds: “If you must use a gasoline-powered pump, generator, pressure washer, or any other gasoline-powered tool to clean your home, never operate the gasoline engine inside a home, basement garage, carport, porch or other enclosed or partially enclosed structures, even if windows and doors are open. Such improper use can create dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide and can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
• Open windows and doors of the house if the weather allows. You may use dehumidifiers and fans to remove excess moisture.
• Before turning on an air-conditioning unit or heating/ventilating system, have a maintenance or service professional check for possible mold contamination. “Professional cleaning will kill the mold and prevent later mold growth.”

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One Response to “Safety and preventive measures against floods”

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