The Louisiana Department of Health is providing the guidance below for individuals who are now cleaning up their property following recent severe weather that caused flash flooding, fallen trees and power outages.
Stay Out of Flood Water
Flood water may be mixed with sewage or other dangerous contaminants. Shower or otherwise wash after coming in contact with floodwater. Wash clothes that come into contact with floodwater in hot, soapy water immediately afterward. Make sure children stay away from flood waters.
Do not drive through flood water. Water only a few feet deep can cause a vehicle to float or stall.
Flood water may also hide other dangers, such as exposed electrical wires or sharp objects. The safest course of action is to stay out of flood waters.
Vaccinate Against Diseases
Residents who have experienced a cut or puncture wound should immediately seek medical attention. As part of the evaluation, the physician will determine if a tetanus booster is indicated.
Tetanus/diphtheria (Td/Tdap) vaccinations are recommended only if the person has not been vaccinated within the past 10 years. Any person who receives a puncture or deep cut during cleanup should seek medical attention.
Take Extra Care Regarding Wildlife
The threat posed by wild animals, reptiles and insects may increase following severe weather that causes flash flooding. Venomous snakes, alligators, leeches, ants and mosquitoes are all potentially threatening creatures that you may encounter following a flash flood.
Keep aware of your situation through local radio or TV broadcasts. Keep an eye out for boil advisories for public water or other public health alerts. Follow the guidance of emergency authorities.
For more information from the Department of Health on flood water safety or other emergency efforts, visit www.ldh.la.gov/emergency.
The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state residents. To learn more about LDH, visit www.ldh.la.gov. For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow LDH's Twitter account and Facebook.