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Published on August 28, 2018

flood safety

Staying safe in areas damaged by floodwater

The current stretch of heavy rain has many area residents cleaning up water damage in their homes and on their property. Gundersen Health System offers the following general information and safety measures for cleaning up flooded areas.

Tetanus boosters and floods: Area Gundersen Clinics will administer tetanus (Tdap) boosters as needed for patients coming in for injury evaluation. If individuals have a regular provider and would like to know their tetanus status prior to working in flooded areas, they can check their immunization record in their MyCare account or contact their primary care provider. For those with an injury related to flood clean up, without a tetanus booster within the last five years, administer a dose of tetanus as soon as possible, and generally within 72 hours of the injury.

Flood clean up resources: As a general rule, items flooded in indoor environments and wet from 48 to 72 hours should be removed and discarded. The type of water intrusion also plays a role, however, most flooding requires removal and discarding of wet materials. For information regarding flood clean up recommendations go to redcross.org or cdc.gov or call Great Rivers 2-1-1 by dialing 2-1-1 or (800) 362-8255.

Food and water safety during floods: The safe availability of drinking water and food due to power outages are additional things to consider after a flood. Contact your local health department if concerned about well water safety. (Bottled water should be used until the safety of the well can be established.) Individuals should properly discard any food items that have spoiled. As a general rule, if there is any doubt, throw the food out. For additional information on well water recommendations visit epa.gov/safewater.

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System staff deliver great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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