September 17, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Urges Residents to Take Precautions to Stay Safe and Healthy After Flooding
State continues to assist areas with response, recovery
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – As people in several parts of Illinois begin cleaning up homes flooded by flash flooding over the weekend, the Blagojevich Administration today offered residents several tips for staying safe and healthy. Governor Blagojevich also assured flood-impacted communities that the state will continue to provide assistance to help them with flood recovery.
“We had a lot of water last weekend that went in and out of homes and flooded streets. It is important that people in these flooded areas protect themselves from disease that can be carried by flood waters, and the best way to do that is by staying out of the water as much as possible,” said Governor Blagojevich. “We are doing everything possible to assist people during this difficult time, and I encourage everyone to play it safe as the waters recede.”
The Governor said the Illinois Emergency Management Agency is continuing to coordinate with local officials to provide state assistance during the flood recovery. To date, that assistance has included 180,000 sandbags, dozens of barricades, several water pumps and two programmable road signs; law enforcement assistance with evacuations, rescues and security; surveys of water levels in rivers and streams and assessments of dams; and emergency management staff to facilitate requests for state assistance.
Flood waters and sewer overflows can contain bacteria, fecal material, viruses, and other organisms that may cause disease. The following information can help protect communities from illness and injury:
Food and Water Safety
Use only bottled or disinfected water for drinking, cooking, tooth brushing and bathing until you are sure the water supply is safe. There are several communities in Illinois that are currently under b oil orders, because the water quality in the system is potentially compromised by flooding or equipment damage. The current recommendation is to bring water to a rolling boil for five minutes. Discard food exposed to contaminated waters. If refrigerators or freezers have taken in water, discard food stored there. If no water entered these appliances, but power was lost long enough for foods to thaw, discard all partially thawed foods unless prepared immediately.
Discard milk, cheeses and other foods prone to spoilage. Completely thawed meats and vegetables should be discarded without question. Discard all bulging or leaking canned food and any food stored in jars. Undented, intact cans can be cleaned with a bleach solution before use.
Removal and cleanup of sewer or flood water is essential. It is important to take the following precautions to prevent injury:
The following cleaning guidelines may help prevent the transmission of disease and reduce property loss:
of Public Health
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Springfield, Illinois 62761
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