Herefordshire residents are being encouraged to protect their health and wellbeing as the county recovers from flooding
Herefordshire residents are being urged to stay safe and protect their health and wellbeing as the clean-up continues following Storm Dennis.
If your home or property has been flooded remember not turn on the gas or electrics until they have been checked by a qualified technician. If you need to evacuate your property the emergency services will issue you with the appropriate advice. For your own safety do not drive or walk through flood water.
If the flood water has receded, your home or property could be contaminated by oil, silt and sewage. This will need to be carefully cleaned up to remove any health risk. Always wear rubber boots, waterproof gloves and an apron to clean up. If cleaning causes a lot of water to splash from scrubbing, hosing or pressure-washing, wear a standard face mask and goggles. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly after each clean-up session. Keep open cuts or sores clean and use waterproof plasters to prevent them being exposed to flood water to avoid picking up infections. Public Health England have produced an advice leaflet on how to clean up your house safely.
Do not use electrical appliances if you are near or standing in water to prevent the risk of electrocution. Never use petrol or diesel generators or other similar fuel-driven equipment indoors, the exhaust gases contain carbon monoxide and this can be dangerous to health.
If you notice a difference in your tap water, such as a change in colour, taste or smell, contact your water company. Food may become unsafe to eat after flooding and the Food Standards Agency has produced some helpful information and advice on food safety after a flood.
If you can, help and support those around you. Check on neighbours, family, friends, the elderly and the vulnerable, as they may also have been badly affected. If you think an elderly relative or neighbour needs support, contact the council’s adult social care team.
Anyone with concerns for their health or mental health should contact their GP or NHS 111. Call 999 if you or someone you know experiences an acute life-threatening medical or mental health emergency. The Samaritans are also there to help. You can call them free, any time, from any phone on 116 123.
Forecasters are predicting more rainfall over the next few days, residents should remain vigilant and listen out for further updates.
Published: Friday, 21st February 2020