Avoid Floodwater to Prevent Injury and Illness
For Release – May 21, 2019 – Jamie Dukes, Office of Communications – (405) 271-5601
Many communities across the state are dealing with flooded areas after the recent storms. The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) reminds the public that floodwater and standing water can be dangerous, making a person vulnerable to diseases, chemical hazards and injuries.
Floodwaters contain many potential hazards such as downed power lines, household trash, medical waste, large debris, human and livestock waste, industrial chemicals, rodents, and snakes. Exposure to contaminated water can cause wound infections, stomach illness, skin rash, tetanus and other illnesses.
The best practice for protection is to stay out of the water, and avoid recreational play such as swimming or fishing. However, the OSDH offers the following tips for those who do come into contact with floodwater during evacuation or cleanup:
As always, it’s important to remember that floodwaters may be hiding a washed out roadway or other dangerous obstacles. Never drive into flooded areas as vehicles may be swept away, or may stall in moving water. Turn around, don’t drown.
For more information about floodwater safety, visit https://go.usa.gov/xmwFW, or ready.gov. For information about tetanus shots or other services, contact a local county health department or medical provider.