Helpful Info and Advice for
Chicagoland Flood Disaster Victims
In Illinois, 44 counties have been declared state disaster
areas as a result of the recent torrential downpour of rains. Several towns in the Chicagoland area have independently declared a state of emergency as well. Those include the Villages of Lisle and Lombard and City of Elmhurst.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn made the disaster declaration for the state as of last Thursday night, saying that Illinois emergency resources will be expanded as quickly as possible to assist the thousands of residents feeling flood effects.
The damage done by the flood waters has been extensive and Chicagoland area streets, curbs, and refuse bins are cluttered with the proof of that. Cleanup has begun as old, wet, damaged articles and construction materials are removed from homes and businesses.
HOW and WHEN flood cleanup is performed is very important. Contaminated, wet materials should be removed as soon as possible from all buildings. De-humidifiers should be utilized to handle moisture and humidity after wet materials are removed.
Flood waters can have contaminates within them. Raw sewage or other harmful substances may be found in the water, so measures must be taken for protection. Special protective-wear should be worn while performing cleanup.
Among the protective gear needed are:
- Goggles that do NOT have ventilation holes
- Water-resistant gloves, boots, or work shoes
- Long pants and long-sleeved shirts
- An N-95 respirator (sold in most hardware stores)
The idea is to keep bacteria off your skin and mold/mold spores out of your lungs. Wash all dry hard surfaces with soap/detergent or a commercial cleaner and then allow to dry thoroughly, especially if water has been sitting on surfaces for over 48 hours. Molds starts to form and appear during that time period.
Remember to wash your hands with disinfectant or disinfecting soap often while performing cleanup, especially if you stop to drink or eat something. Do NOT smoke while performing your cleanup tasks, as sewage and gases may have escaped while flooding occurred and entered flood waters.
Try to limit direct contact with flood waters, as cuts and open wounds can become easily infected. This is especially true should you have a septic system.
Stay informed and aware of any local public health announcements regarding your water source and water environment. Boiling water prior to drinking and use may be suggested during specific times.
Do not try to heat or dry out a flooded home, garage, shed, or business with combustible heat sources or portable generators. If you use a portable generator, place it outside and far away from your home.
People can be sensitive to molds. Molds can cause nasal stuffiness, skin and eye irritations, wheezing, and more. Molds can cause even more severe reactions such as shortness of breath and fevers in some people, especially the very young and seniors. Should symptoms develop, get to a doctor immediately.
In the State of Illinois, the Dept. of Public Health is providing local public health departments, hospitals and medical offices in flood areas with info on tetanus shots. The
American Red Cross has opened a shelter in Lisle to continue the assessment of need for shelter(s) and other assistance. The State Fire Marshal is coordinating with fire departments to assess flood-related issues.
With more rain being called for in the Chicago-area forecast, it would be wise to prepare and keep an Emergency Disaster Kit in an easily-carried container or bag handy. By doing so, you will have basic survival items together, should emergency situations, such as flooding, arise in the future.
Helpful Info and Advice for Chicagoland Flood Disaster Victims. Click HERE to find the emergency items suggested by the Illinois Terrorism Task Force ... and stay safe ...
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