Floodwater and standing water pose serious risks to your health, home, and family. These waters contain infectious diseases, chemical hazards, and injury risks. There are countless concerns to consider. Following a storm, you may be tempted to get out of the house, check on the neighborhood, and see the damage for yourself.
However, the roads may not be safe. Floodwater may remain in place for many days to come, until the rain subsides and maintenance crews can reopen roads to the public. In this time, do not drive on flooded roads.
High waters don’t just affect the neighborhood, though. You may be dealing with a few inches or feet of water inside of your home. In that case, a trusted restoration company can provide 24-hour flood damage recovery.
Avoid Floodwater Altogether
You never know how deep water is on the road. It’s entirely possible to be sucked under because of strong current or trapped in a vehicle during a flood. Those are not the only dangers associated with floodwater, though. It is common for floodwater to contain physical dangers and debris left behind by the storm. This is why avoiding floodwater is important.
The standing water blocking your path may contain:
- Downed power lines
- Human or livestock waste
- Household, medical, or industrial waste
- Lumber, vehicles, and sharp debris
- Wild or stray animals that may panic and attack
The Dangers of Floodwater Exposure
There are many diseases and infections caused by contaminated water. Some, such as Leptospirosis, are relatively rare. Others, like Tetanus, are more common. The most common dangers of floodwater exposure include:
- Gastrointestinal Illness – The biggest risk from floodwater is gastrointestinal illness caused by bacteria or parasites found in the water. A few examples of such illnesses include Salmonella and e. Coli, both of which lead to discomfort and abdominal troubles.
- Hepatitis – An illness typically thought to spread by drug use, Hepatitis is commonly transmitted via contaminated water.
- Legionnaires’ Disease – Legionella, a form of bacteria, is commonly found in floodwater. When swallowed, the bacteria causes coughing, shortness of breath, fever, and chills. The disease can be treated using antibiotics, though Legionnaires is occasionally fatal if left untreated.
If you do come in contact with floodwater for any reason, take precautions to thoroughly clean the affected skin.
- Wash thoroughly with soap and clean water. If you do not have access to either, use an alcohol-based wipe or sanitizer until you do.
- Ensure your wounds are properly maintained and addressed by medical professionals.
- Wash all of your clothing if you interact with flood or sewage water. Use hot water and detergent before wearing any items again.