OSDH Provides Tips to Avoid Injury from Flooded Areas
For Release:- May 13, 2015 - Office of Communications - 405/271-5601
As storms with elevated levels of rainfall continue to be a threat to the state, the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s (OSDH) Emergency Preparedness and Response Service reminds residents that flooding can cause fatalities and serious injuries for people who are trapped or swept away by wading in, or driving through floodwaters.
During storms with high levels of rainfall, OSDH encourages Oklahomans to evacuate flood prone areas before flooding begins. An evacuation plan should consist of multiple escape routes in case roads are blocked. Evacuation plans should also take into account people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs, pets and even livestock.
When evacuation is not possible or when driving during heavy rains, it is important to remember not to enter flooded areas, or even areas with only inches of moving water. The depth of water is not always obvious, and the surface underneath the water may be washed out. Hazards in floodwaters often consist of rocks, mud, debris, oil, gasoline and even sewage.
Flood damage can lead to a number of public health issues. OSDH recommends the following tips:
OSDH also recommends keeping a go bag to have ready for evacuation. Keep emergency supplies such as snacks, a change of clothes, prescription medicine, medical equipment, important documents and valuable items such as family photos and irreplaceable mementos.
For more information about preparing for floods, storms or other natural disasters, visit www.ready.gov.