What Are The Health Effects of Flooding?

According to the CDC, flooding has a great amount of risks—something no one wants to hear when they’re standing in a drenched and destroyed home thanks to floodwaters from a storm or an accident. Beyond the destruction of your home that you’re already suffering, there are other issues to deal with. Take caution around flooding, and be aware of the other affects of flooding.

Infectious Diseases

Water is a great breeding ground for bacteria. That’s why water filters of all kinds are staples in most kitchens. The same threats that improperly filtered and contaminated drinking water pose are in floodwater, as well—with bigger repercussions in the floodwater thanks to the amount of water. Practice good safety:

  • Wash your hands. The germs that are in the water can lay on toys, carpets, walls, and everywhere the water touched. Wash those hands before you eat, drink, touch your face, or any other contact with an orifice. This will help prevent you from getting sick.
  • Wear gloves while cleaning. This will prevent most of the transmission of the germs to your skin in the first place, and just makes good sense.
  • Don’t let your children play in the floodwater. Or with anything that’s come in contact with the floodwater, for that matter. That baseball might look fun to a child, but with all the germs it may as well be a weapon.

If you do not follow these simple steps, you may end up with any of the communicable diseases that can be hiding in that floodwater—from diarrhea to much worse. Be extremely careful around flood waters!

Likewise, watch for any open wounds while you’re in the floodwater. Just like you can get sick from the floodwater, any open sores that come in contact with the water can get infected, causing you to have to deal with multiple problems. If you notice that the water has come in contact with a wound, clean it and disinfect it immediately. You might be saving yourself some pain and grief later. If your wound does end up becoming infected, seek medical attention immediately! The signs are simple: swelling, redness at the wound, or drainage. If you see them, get help. Seriously.

Chemical Hazards

Most people aren’t thinking about what might be upriver when they’re attempting to clean out their flooded homes. They’re more concerned with their flooded home—which is understandable! However, when a flood comes through, it takes anything it can with it, which can include chemicals of all varieties. A bottle of bleach might have been open when the flood came through, and now it’s in the water. A chemical plant upstream might have a ruptured tank, leaking those into the environment. Take extreme caution around the flooding—you never know what’s in it.

Injuries

There are also injury risks associated with flooding. Like the chemical and infectious disease advice, remember that you do not know what’s in the water. If you’re wading through your home, you might run into the couch or you might run into broken glass—opening a wound and creating an opportunity for infection! Additionally, there’s the chance of drowning, especially if you’re caught in the flood itself rather than the aftermath. If the water looks like it’s moving, don’t get in it! If it’s more powerful than it looks, you might end up worse off than your home.

If you’re having trouble cleaning up your home, be sure to call the experts. We know all of the safety procedures and protocols to keep ourselves safe (and you too!). Remember that flooding might destroy your home, but you’ll be safe if you remember these tips about floodwaters. Don’t risk your life for something small—and if it’s too much, we’re here for you!