Tips on Preventing Illness after a natural disaster
As the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County begin to recover from the effects of Hurricane Sandy, the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County Office of Emergency Management has issued the following tips:
KEEP FOOD AND DRINKING WATER SAFE
- Discard any perishable food (like meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and leftovers) that have been above 40 °F for over 2 hours.
- For the refrigerator: Pack milk, other dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, gravy, and spoilable leftovers into a cooler surrounded by ice. Inexpensive styrofoam coolers are fine for this purpose.
- A freezer that is half full will hold food safely for up to 24 hours. A full freezer will hold food safely for 48 hours. Do not open the freezer door unless necessary.
- Listen to and follow public health and safety announcements.
PREVENT CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING
- Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death if you breathe it. Never use generators, pressure washers, grills, camp stoves, or other gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning devices inside your home, basement, garage, or camper—or even outside near an open window, door, or vent.
- Don’t heat your house with a gas oven.
- If you are too hot or too cold, or you need to prepare food, don’t put yourself and your family at risk of CO poisoning—look to friends, family, or a community shelter for help.
- If your CO detector sounds, leave your home immediately and call 911.
- Seek prompt medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed, or nauseated.
- For further guidance on avoiding CO poisoning, go to http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/carbonmonoxide.asp.
CLEAN UP SAFELY AFTER FLOODS
- To prevent illness, disinfect and dry buildings and items in them. This will prevent growth of some bacteria, viruses, mold, and mildew that can cause illness.
- For more information, go to http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/cleanup.asp
ANIMAL AND INSECT-RELATED HAZARDS
- Avoid wild or stray animals and biting or stinging insects.
- Call local authorities to handle animals.
- Dispose of dead animals, according to local guidelines, as soon as you can.
- For more information, contact your local animal shelter or services, a veterinarian, or the Humane Society for advice on dealing with pets or stray or wild animals after an emergency.
- For information on specific animal and insect issues, see go to http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/animalhazards.asp.