Harris County Alerts

Flood Safety Awareness Week: Flood Hazards

Apr 03, 2017 Back

April 3, 2017

Flood Safety Awareness Week: Flood Hazards

Floodwaters may contain debris and dangerous things including sharp objects, snakes, insects, industrial waste, raw sewage, and downed power lines. Exposure to floodwaters can cause serious infections or result in injuries. Contact with contaminated floodwater may induce vomiting and make you very sick. Luckily, there are things you can do to keep you and your family safe.

Stay safe by keeping children and pets from playing in floodwater! Splashing in puddles or swimming after heavy rainfall may look like fun, but it is dangerous! Wash hands often and with soap and consider getting a tetanus shot. Tetanus is a bacterial disease that causes muscle spasms, lockjaw, and death. It can easily spread during a flood as rushing water brings debris, soil and fecal matter together.  Always clean and sterilized items exposed to contaminated water. Do not allow children to play with toys that have been contaminated by floodwaters and have not been disinfected. Consider throwing away objects touched by floodwaters that are not easily cleaned. Wells may become contaminated and household water may be unsafe to drink. Do not use contaminated water to drink, wash, or prepare food. Do not use it to wash hands, brush teeth, wash dishes, or make ice. Do not feed spoiled food to your pets because they can get sick too.

Be careful not to touch water or anything in contact with the water, where there is a downed power line. The human body is a ready conductor of electricity. The proper way to move away from the line is to shuffle away with small steps, keeping your feet together and on the ground at all times.


Click on the following links for more information:


Harris County Public Health

Centers for Disease Control

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