The dangers of severe weather do not end once the storm or hurricane is over. Floodwaters from these disasters can put the whole community at risk, which includes health problems, infections, safety issues, and more.
When experiencing a flooding event in Florida, it is important to be aware of the hidden dangers and diseases that result from floodwaters. ServiceMaster Remediation Services has compiled them for you.
Flooding in Florida
Flooding is a coast-to-coast threat in Florida annually and is one of its most frequent hazards. It’s best to learn about your community’s flood risk to protect yourself, your family, and your property. Determine the following:
- Your home’s elevation
- If there are creeks or rivers that frequently flood
- If your home is located in a low-lying area
- The flood map of your area (found online at FEMA’s Map Service Center)
Get your area’s flood risk at www.floodsmart.gov.
Health Risks and Other Dangers from Floodwaters
There are many risks associated with flooding and flood water damage, so always be alert and stay healthy.
Bacterial Infection from Fecal Matter
- Floodwaters can contain fecal bacteria from people and animals.
- Coming into contact with or ingesting organic waste could cause diarrhea, gastroenteritis, nausea, and vomiting.
- Chemicals from gas leaks, oil spills, pesticides, and other toxic substances can contaminate floodwaters and cause chemical poisoning.
- Signs of chemical poisoning include confusion and disorientation, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, headaches, muscle twitches, and skin rashes.
- As mentioned, always avoid moving through floodwaters whenever possible to minimize the risk of coming into contact with toxic chemicals.
- Floodwaters can cause stress to animals, which may cause them to attack you due to strange and stressful conditions.
- Be careful around areas with high amounts of wildlife, such as alligators, snakes and floating fire ants.
- Flooding events can often compromise electrical systems and power lines, which could charge the water with a lethal amount of electric current.
- Getting exposed to this charged water can put you at risk of electric shock, resulting in severe injury or even death.
- Submerged electrical outlets can also put your life at risk.
- Report any fallen powerlines to the proper authorities and steer clear of them.
- Before entering any flood-damaged property, ensure that the main power is shut off to prevent electrical shock.
Infectious Diseases from Open Wounds
- Getting in contact with floodwaters while having wounds or sores can expose you to harmful pathogens, infections and diseases.
- If there is a need to wade through floodwaters, make sure that you are wearing proper personal protective equipment and that open wounds are properly and immediately treated.
Injury from Sharp Objects and Other Debris
- Deep and murky floodwaters may be hiding sharp items such as broken glass, pieces of metal, nails, and other dangerous debris which can result in infections and severe injuries.
- Avoid wading through floodwaters if possible. If there is a need to walk through floodwaters, wear protective equipment such as shoes and pants before getting in the water.
Injury from Unstable Structures
- Floodwaters can cause structural damage to buildings; without proper clearance, it’s considered unsafe to enter flood-damaged homes or businesses.
- Some signs that indicate a structure is collapsing are shifting noises and unfamiliar sounds. Leave the building immediately.
In the United States, floods are considered to be the most common natural disaster. If your area is under a flood warning, perform the following:
- Locate a safe shelter immediately.
- Do not get in contact with floodwaters or drive through them. You can be knocked down by six inches of moving water and a foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
- Stay away from bridges over fast-moving water.
- Depending on the type of flooding, you may be advised to (1) evacuate, (2) move to a higher floor or higher ground, or (3) stay where you are located.
Get more information about flood safety at Ready.
Get Life Back to Normal After a Flood with ServiceMaster Restore
Flooding can happen in an instant. If your flood damage emergency cannot wait, ServiceMaster Remediation Services has a 24-hour emergency response team that could assist you immediately. We provide professional water damage restoration service to residential and commercial properties in Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Pompano Beach, Florida, and surrounding areas.
Why Choose ServiceMaster Remediation Services?
- 20 years of experience
- Backed by 4,500 franchises around the world
- Certified General Contractor
- State-of-the-art equipment
- Highly trained Technicians
- 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
- 24-Hour Emergency Service Available 7 Days a Week
Don’t know what to do next? We do. Contact us today.