Health & Safety concerns

Published: May 24, 2022 8:00 AM EDT
Updated: May 24, 2022 1:43 PM EDT

Health Care
Due to structural damage, the offices and operations of medical facilities and hospitals may very likely be limited. A mobile health unit may be available to provide services to residents with minor medical needs such as cuts, scrapes, bruises and illnesses. Stay tuned to WINK News for information regarding medical treatments.

Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, tasteless and odorless poison that can be prevented. Do not burn charcoal or gas grills or gas-powered generators inside a house, garage, vehicle or tent. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include: fatigue, weakness, chest pains, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, headaches, confusion, lack of coordination, and impaired vision.

Food Safety
Food that has not been refrigerated for two hours or more and has an unusual odor, color or texture and is no longer cool to the touch is considered unsafe. Officials say, “When in doubt, throw it out!”

Drinking Water
Do not assume that public water in hurricane affected areas is safe to drink. Use bottled water for eating and drinking until there are public announcements about water safety. If bottled water is not available, boil tap water vigorously for one minute.

Hand Washing/Sanitization
Wash hands often with soap and clean water. If unsure about the water source, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to decrease the risk of illness, infection and disease causing bacteria.

Molds are fungi that can be toxic and cause severe reactions for many people. You should replace baseboards and wall boards that have been damaged by water because mold and mildew will form inside walls. A phenol compound such as Pine-Sol or Lysol is best for pressed wood. It is also necessary to replace insulation, carpet and furniture that have been damaged by water.

Heavy rains and flooding lead to an increase in the mosquito population. Public health authorities recommend following the “5 D’s of prevention:”

Dusk & Dawn – avoid the outdoors from sunset to sunrise.
Dress – wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks.
DEET – use repellents containing DEET, usually 30% solutions. Do NOT use DEET on children under 2 months old.
Drainage – check your home and neighborhood, and dump standing water where mosquitoes can lay their eggs.