As the floods continue to be an issue here in Arkansas and with the explosion of a meat packing plant in Booneville which required an evacuation due to an ammonia leak into the air, it seems like a good time to review some sources for information for both medical and non-medical folk. Gallery of flood pictures.
- Don't drive through rising water. It only takes 2 feet of water to carry away most cars and sport utility vehicles. The majority of drowning deaths from flash floods are related to being trapped in the motor vehicle.
- Flash flooding causes most of the fatalities due to natural disasters in the United States.
- Clean up mold and germs from the flood water. Fix any leaking pipes and other water problems and then dry things, or the mold will grow again.
- It is best to wear a respirator mask over your mouth and nose when you clean, so that you do not breathe in a lot of mold. A respirator that protects against mold is called an N-95 respirator.
- Wash your hands often and be careful of cuts and scratches. The water you wade through may be contaminated by sewage overflow or backup.
Check out these sources for more information. Be safe.
MedLine Plus -- Disaster Preparedness and Recovery. A lot of good information for citizens. The main page has many links to other agencies and articles, but these two are a good place to start.
Are You Ready? An In-Depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness(Federal Emergency Management Agency) - Links to PDF
Picking up the Pieces After a Disaster(American Red Cross)
Arkansas Department of Health--Food and Water Safety Following a Flood - opens as a PDF
CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response -- website has sections on Bioterrorism Emergencies, Chemical Emergencies, Radiation Emergencies, Mass Casualties, Natural Disasters and Severe Weather, and Recent Outbreaks and Incidents. Full of information and worth checking out.
FEMA Emergency Management Institute Independent Study Program -- The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) offers self-paced courses designed for people who have emergency management responsibilities and the general public. All are offered free-of-charge to those who qualify for enrollment. To get a complete listing of courses, click here.
Nurses on the Front Line: Preparing for and Responding to Emergencies and Disasters - hosted by The National Nurse Emergency Preparedness Initiative (NNEPI), developed by The George Washington University Department of Nursing Education and funded by The U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health Preparedness Online Training Modules -- training modules on the following emergency preparedness and response topics: Agriculture, Food and Water; Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Terror; Infectious Disease and Vaccines; Legal Issues; Mental Health Preparedness; and General Public Health Preparedness
WISER is a system designed to assist first responders in hazardous material incidents. WISER provides a wide range of information on hazardous substances, including substance identification support, physical characteristics, human health information, and containment and suppression advice. Free download available as a stand-alone application on Windows Mobile devices, Palm OS PDAs, and Microsoft Windows PCs.