We can always talk about the weather in the Midwest. It fluctuates and can be extreme. Currently we are experiencing record breaking rainfalls. Much of the Chicago area is experiencing at least some flooding, and there are areas completely underwater.

Flood water is potentially contaminated with raw sewage and toxic substances, so it is best to avoid contact if possible. If you must work in it, the EPA suggests frequent hand washing with disinfecting soap, especially before drinking and eating. Also, be sure your vaccinations are up to date.

Other suggestions include:

  • Do not allow children to play in flood waters.
  • Keep generator exhaust way from doors and windows because it is toxic.
  • Do not use water from flooded household wells until it is tested safe to use.
  • Do not use the sewage system from home septic systems after a flood until the water in the soil absorption field is lower than the water level around the house.
  • Never drive through flooded areas.
  • Do not enter flooded basements if the power is on.
  • After the flood, remove standing water and get areas dry within 24-48 hours to avoid mold.
  • Boil drinking water for at least 3 minutes.
  • Toss unrefrigerated perishable food.

©2013, Mary K. Doyle

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