Four Things You Should Know After Experiencing a Flood

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Make Sure your Food and Water is Safe!

1. If your food has been exposed to flood waters you should:

  • Throw out all foods exposed to flood water—even if they were in fridges and freezers. This includes meat, fruits & vegetables, all boxed foods, jars or bottles (home preservatives included) and cans with large dents—these items can’t be properly disinfected.
  • Do not drink well water until it has been tested. Well water can be tested for free through CK Public Health, located at 177 King Street East in Chatham.Young Man Calling Plumber While Woman Using Utensil For

2. Gather the Essentials like:

  • Buckets or pails
  • Plastic garbage bags (to throw out items)
  • Large containers (for large items that have been exposed to flooding such as bedding, clothes etc.)
  • Personal Protective Equipment (gloves, masks etc.)
  • Mops and squeegees
  • Unscented detergent
  • Additional equipment may be needed, depending on how large the flood is.

3. Clean-Up—here’s how:

  • Use proper cleaning supplies and have minimal contact with items exposed to the flood when you’re cleaning up. It’s important to keep children, pregnant women and people with respiratory issues away from the area when cleaning it up and until your home is safe.
  • Make sure you use unscented soap and water when cleaning your furniture or any items . Dry the items as quickly as possible—it’s important. Set up fans for good air flow to help dry your things faster. Remember—don’t keep things you can’t wash and dry it within 48 hours.
  • Wear rubber boots while cleaning up after flood waters because it may be useful in preventing electrical shock when you are near water.

4. What to Save and What to Throw Out?

  • You can save all items that are easy to disinfect such as clothes and furniture that are water resistant. Both of these type items will require specific cleaning and drying.
  • You should throw out items exposed to flood waters that you can’t disinfect. This includes: all insulation materials, mattresses, box springs, stuff toys, pillows, cushions etc.

For more information contact CK Public Health at 519.355.1071.

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