Flood Safety, Injury Tips and Assistance Information
EDMOND, Oklahoma -- The Oklahoma State Department of Health urges Oklahomans to use caution when dealing with flood waters. Flood waters may contain snakes and insects; sharp objects and debris; and oil, gasoline, industrial waste or raw sewage.
To avoid illness and injury from floodwaters, the Oklahoma State Department of Health suggests the following:
• Keep children and pets from playing in flood water.
• Clean all items touched by floodwaters, including children's toys. Use one cup of household bleach in five gallons of water.
• Throw away items that cannot be washed such as mattresses, stuffed animals, baby toys, and wood cutting boards, as well as food that may have come into contact with flood waters.
• Wash hands often with soap and clean water or use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
• See immediate attention if you become injured or ill.
The American Red Cross has set up a temporary shelter for residents who have been displaced from their southeast Edmond homes due to flooding.
The school is located at 1215 E. 9th Street. Residents can call 405-228-9500 for more information about the shelter.
Edmond police are asking people who are stranded in cars to roll down their windows and wave to responding emergency units. Emergency crews are having trouble differentiating from occupied and unoccupied cars.
5 Star Storage, 1777 West Vandament Avenue Yukon, OK 73085-0365, is offering two months of free storage for flood victims who may need to move out of their houses to repair or for those without flood insurance.
The following tips form the Oklahoma State Department of Health will also help you stay safe as floodwaters rise.
Moving Flood Water
During flooding, the greatest threat comes from moving water. The deeper the moving water, the greater the threat. People should avoid driving in moving water, regardless of the size of their vehicle. You should never attempt to walk or drive through moving water, as there is no way of telling its depth and swift moving water can carry away people or vehicles trying to cross it.
Pooling Flood Water
Heavy rain causes flood waters to rise and pool on streets and throughout neighborhoods. In these situations, be aware of the following:
- Road surfaces become obscured, and drivers can unknowingly steer into a deep body of water, such as a canal or pond.
- Electricity from streetlights and power poles may be active through standing water causing a deadly shock to anyone coming in contact with it.
Contaminated Water Supply
Drinking contaminated water may cause illness. You cannot assume that the water in the affected area is safe to drink. Listen to local announcements on the safety of the water supply.
If your public water system lost pressure, a boil water notice will likely be issued for your area.
People in these areas should take precautions to avoid contaminated water, especially individuals with private wells. If your well is in a flooded area, your water may contain disease-causing organisms and may not be safe to drink.
-Boil water for at least one minute before using it for drinking, washing, cooking, etc.
-Disinfect water by adding eight drops (about one-eighth teaspoon—this would form a puddle about the size of a dime) of unscented household bleach per gallon of water, and then let it stand for 30 minutes. If the water is cloudy after 30 minutes, repeat the procedure
-Use only bottled water, especially for mixing baby formula.
After the flooding subsides:
-Disinfect your well.
-Have your well water tested by a laboratory certified by the state.
Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with floodwaters. Discard any food without a waterproof container if there is any chance that it has come into contact with floodwaters. Undamaged, commercially canned foods can be saved if you remove the labels thoroughly, wash the cans, and then disinfect the cans with a solution consisting of 1/4 cup of unscented household bleach per gallon of water. Re-label your cans, including the expiration date, with a marker. Food containers with screw-caps, snap lids and home canned foods should be discarded if they have come in contact with floodwaters because they cannot be disinfected.
Discard wooden cutting boards, plastic utensils, baby bottle nipples and pacifiers. There is no way to safely clean them if they have come in contact with contaminated floodwaters. Thoroughly wash metal pans, ceramic dishes and utensils with soap and hot water and sanitize by boiling them in clean water or by immersing them for 15 minutes in a solution of one-quarter cup of household bleach per gallon of water.