County offers tips to deal with flooding

© 2017-Ogle County Life

OREGON – The Ogle County Health Department wants to make sure that residents are taking caution for safe clean up after all the recent flooding.
The following information is from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) website. For more information, stay up to date on our Facebook page @OgleCountyHD and do not forget to hit the like button.
These basic precautions can help to prevent disease:
* Minimize skin contact with sewer water, especially cuts and sores. Keep them clean and covered.
* Do not allow children to play in areas contaminated by sewage overflows.
* Do not eat or drink anything exposed to sewer water.
* Keep contaminated objects, water and hands away from your mouth, eyes and nose.
* Wash hands frequently, especially after bathroom use, before eating and immediately following contact with sewer water or contaminated objects or surfaces.
The following cleaning guidelines may help prevent the transmission of disease and reduce property loss:
General cleaning
* Discard any contaminated objects that cannot be thoroughly washed or laundered.
* Wash contaminated surfaces and objects with warm, soapy water and disinfect with a bleach and water solution made of no more than 1 cup of bleach per 1 gallon of water. For objects that would be damaged by bleach, use a home or laundry disinfectant.
* Make sure to read and follow label instructions. Do not use ammonia. Do not mix ammonia and bleach; the vapors are hazardous.
* Scrub and wash all objects in the affected area of your home, including clothes, exposed to flood waters. Use warm, not hot, tap water with soap.
 
Carpets and rugs 

Carpets and rugs that cannot be thoroughly dried and cleaned should be discarded and replaced. If the damaged area small, you may be able to save the carpet by cleaning the area with a mild detergent. There also are professional home cleaning services that may be able to clean your carpets.
 
Floors, drapes and furniture 

Floors and hard surfaces should be cleaned with a bleach and water solution made of no more than one cup of bleach per one gallon of water, or use a household disinfectant. A professional cleaner may be able to clean furniture and drapes.
 
Basement

Pump out standing water and remove all debris. Wait to pump until flood waters have receded below basement level. Allow debris to drain before disposal. Strain away all liquids from trash. After straining trash, wrap in newspaper and store in tight-lid garbage cans until pick up. Paneling and wallboard must be immediately cleaned and dried thoroughly. If the damage is severe, they should be removed and replaced.
 
Food and water safety 

Use only bottled or disinfected water for drinking, cooking, tooth brushing and bathing until you are sure the water supply is safe. Discard food exposed to contaminated waters. If refrigerators or freezers have taken in water, discard food stored there. If no water entered these appliances, but power was lost long enough for foods to thaw, discard all partially thawed foods unless prepared immediately. Discard milk, cheeses and other foods prone to spoilage. Completely thawed meats and vegetables should be discarded without question. Discard all bulging or leaking canned food and any food stored in jars. Undented, intact cans can be cleaned with a bleach solution before use.
 
Wells
If wells were covered by water, they should use it for bathing only. We highly recommend that you bring in a sample of your water to the Ogle County Health Department for testing. For more information on getting your water tested, please email us at health@oglecounty.org.
 
Septic
If your septic field is covered up with water, it is saturated, and it should not be used until the area has been allowed to dry out for 3 to 4 days. The water should not have harmed your system; it will just take time to dry. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your septic field, please email our Director of Environmental health, Paul Harmon at pharmon@oglecounty.org.
 
Tetanus
Make sure you are up to date on your tetanus vaccine. This bacteria can be found in soil and it can get into the body through a puncture of the skin. If you would like to schedule an appointment to be up to date on your tetanus shot, please email us at health@oglecounty.org.


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