After the Flood — Take Care to Avoid Injuries and Health Problems during Cleanup

For immediate release: September 7, 2011

Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
802-863-7281

BURLINGTON – The Vermont Department of Health is reminding residents and volunteers to take all precautions to avoid injuries and illness during cleanup work after the flooding.

“We want everyone to stay safe and healthy after the flood,” said Health Commissioner Harry Chen, MD. “Experience from other states tells us that the number one health risk comes from injuries during cleanup. And although children want to help, give them tasks that keep them out of harm’s way.”

Residents, cleanup workers and volunteers do not need to have a tetanus booster (Tdap) shot to work in the flooded zone. Take precautions to avoid injury and exposure to flood water if you have an open wound. Seek immediate medical attention for wound care and a tetanus booster shot, if needed.

Health Department district office staff are distributing latex-free gloves and N95 masks with instructions for use, along with safe cleanup guidance and drinking water test kits to the towns hardest hit by the flooding. N95 masks are also available at most hardware stores.

The Health Department’s website has extensive information and resources to help. Go to www.healthvermont.gov, then click on ‘After the Flood’, including “Creating a Healthy Home – A Field Guide for Clean-up of Flooded Homes” and information about cleaning up mold.

Basic precautions to take during cleanup:

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