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March 7, 2013

DOH encourages flooding preparedness

Live Oak — In anticipation of our local rivers approaching flood stages, the Florida Department of Health in Suwannee County encourages residents located in potentially affected areas to be prepared for any flooding that may occur and be aware of the following:

Moving Flood Water

During flooding, the greatest threat comes from moving water.  The deeper the moving water, the greater the threat.  People should avoid driving in moving water, regardless of the size of the vehicle.

Pooling Flood Water

Flood waters can rise and pool on streets and throughout neighborhoods.  In these situations, be aware of the following:

Road surfaces become disguised and drivers can unknowingly steer into a deep body of water, such as a canal or pond.

Electricity from streetlights and power poles may be present in standing water, causing a deadly shock to anyone coming in contact with it.

Children playing in contaminated standing water can become sick or be bitten by snakes or floating insects.

People coming into contact with floodwaters should thoroughly wash and rinse any exposed body parts with soap and disinfected water.

Contaminated Water Supply

Residents in flood-affected areas should take precautions to avoid consuming contaminated water.  If your well is in a flooded area, your water may contain disease-causing bacteria and may not be safe to drink.

DOH recommends one of the following:

Boil water for at least 1 minute before using it for drinking, cooking, making ice, brushing teeth, or washing dishes.

Disinfect water by adding 8 drops (about 1/8 tsp – this would form a puddle about the size of a dime) of unscented household bleach per gallon of water, and then let it stand for 30 minutes.  If the water is cloudy after 30 minutes, repeat the procedure.  Use a container that has a cap or cover for disinfecting and storing water to be used for drinking.  This will prevent contamination.

Use only bottled water, especially for mixing baby formula.

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