The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) continues to recommend that residents in flood warning zones take the following safety precautions:
If you are under a flood watch or warning:
- Gather emergency supplies and stay tuned to local radio or television stations for updates.
- Locate your main power switch and main gas and water valves so they can be quickly turned off in case of evacuation.
- If you are remaining in your home, fill bathtubs, sinks and plastic soda bottles with clean water. Sanitize the sinks and tubs first by using a solution of one-quarter cup of bleach to one gallon of water. Rinse and fill with clean water.
- Flood waters may be contaminated by sewage systems, agricultural and industrial waste, and septic tanks. If you have open cuts or sores exposed to floodwater, keep them as clean as possible by washing with soap and clean water. Apply antibiotic ointment 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 raw sewage. Do not allow children to play with toys that have been in floodwater until the toys have been disinfected. Use ¼ cup of bleach to one gallon of water.
If you are ordered to evacuate:
You should never ignore an evacuation order. If a flood warning is issued for your area or you are directed by authorities to evacuate:
- Take only essential items with you. Include a charger if you have a cell phone.
- Take at least a 60-day supply of all of your essential medications with you.
- If you have time, turn off the gas, electricity and water.
- Disconnect appliances to prevent electrical shock when power is restored.
- Do not attempt to drive or walk across creeks or flooded roads.
Tetanus vaccination is recommended if it’s been 10 years or more since your last tetanus vaccination (Tdap is the recommended vaccine). In the event of a puncture wound or wound contaminated with floodwater, individuals should consult a healthcare provider.
For more information on flood safety, visit www.HealthyMS.com.