The Florida Department of Health in Lee County wants to caution residents when cleaning up around their homes.
After severe weather on Sunday morning, FDOH-Lee wants residents to be aware that injuries could be sustained during cleanup.
Each person can make sure they have an updated tetanus vaccination prior to becoming involved in cleanup efforts.
Also, remember that often flood waters can disguise hazards such as down powerlines and debris.
FDOH-Lee has released an additional list of tips to aid in safe cleanup after the storms:
Wear rubber boots and waterproof gloves during cleanup of sewage and to avoid injury and contamination.
Drywall and insulation that have been soaked should be removed and discarded so disinfection and drying of the internal wall structure can take place.
Items that cannot be washed or dry-cleaned, such as mattresses and upholstered furniture, may possibly be air-dried in the sun and sprayed thoroughly with a disinfectant. However, these items may need to be discarded.
Remove and discard contaminated household materials that cannot be disinfected such as wall-coverings, cloth and rugs. Wash all linens and clothing in hot water or dry-clean.
It can be difficult to throw away items in a home, particularly those with sentimental value. However, keeping certain items soaked by sewage or floodwaters may be unhealthy. In general, materials that cannot be thoroughly cleaned and dried within 24-48 hours should be discarded
Walls, hard-surfaced floors and many other household surfaces must be cleaned with soap and water and disinfected with a solution of 1 cup of bleach per 5 gallons of water.
Fiberboard, fibrous insulation and disposable filters in your heating and air conditioning system should be replaced.
Be careful about mixing household cleaners and disinfectants. Combining certain types of products can produce toxic fumes and result in injury or death.
Chainsaws should only be operated in safe conditions and by people that are experienced in proper use.
If a person does sustain an injury, there are wound/tetanus care tips below, as well:
- If you sustain a wound or deep cut that concerns you as handle debris, seek medical attention. Make sure to ask your doctor if you need a tetanus booster vaccine.
- Due to possible contamination, do not expose wounds to floodwaters.
- Proper wound care is essential for all cuts and lacerations regardless of exposure to floodwaters—clean wounds with soap and disinfected or bottled water.
- Individuals deployed to work on recovery efforts are encouraged to contact their primary health care provider to make sure they are current on their tetanus vaccine.
For more information from the CDC on debris cleanup safety, go to their website.
Lee County government has created a website for residents impacted by the storms.
It includes maps, information from the NWS, a ‘How You Can Help’ section, etc.
To find all of this information, you can visit www.leegov.com/hurricane/storm.
If you’d like to help cleanup after the destruction left there 200 volunteer spots with Keep Lee County Beautiful for Saturday, Jan. 22.