• Cleaning Up After a Flood

    The St. Joseph County Health Department would like to remind residents affected by flooding of health issues that may arise due to contaminated water and the presence of standing water in those areas.

    Floodwaters may contain many different contaminants – including sewage and hazardous materials such as cleaning materials, paint, fuel.

    • Wear appropriate protective clothing, such as rubber boots, rubber gloves and masks, during clean-up and when in contact with flood affected items.
    • Wash hands with hot, soapy water after exposure to floodwater and floodwater affected items.
    • Discard any food items that have come into contact with floodwater – including plastic utensils and baby bottle nipples.
    • Do not use contaminated water for drinking, cooking or washing. Use bottled water until your water supply has been declared safe.
    • Due to potential exposure to tetanus, those who are not up-to-date on tetanus (Td) vaccine should see their healthcare provider about getting a booster vaccine.
    • Due to potential exposure to raw sewage, those who are not immunized against Hepatitis A virus should talk to their healthcare provider about getting the vaccine.
    • The St. Joseph County Health Department has both of the above vaccines (Td and Hepatitis A) available for pre-exposure vaccinations. Please call 574-235-9750 for information on locations/hours/costs.
    • Anyone wounded while exposed to floodwater should seek evaluation of the wound and potential need for a Td or Tdap vaccine from a medical provider.

    As the water recedes and efforts turn to clean up, we are urging residents to take precautions to prevent adverse health issues. See all links below for tips and assistance as you engage in the clean up effort.

    EPA- Floods and indoor air quality

    EPA-What to do after a flood

    Mold Prevention Strategies

    Well Water Disinfection

    Cleaning and sanitizing with bleach  well water disinfection

    Residential disinfection after flood

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