Facing the Fury: Recovering from the fury
Preparing for a hurricane is always important. After a storm hits and it’s time to clean up, it’s also important to take extra measures to ensure post-hurricane safety.
Flooding is just one of the serious risks Valley residents will have to deal with even after the storm has passed.
“In the rural areas, we have subdivisions that have septic systems, so if there's flooding water in there, the septic system is going to get full of water," said Weslaco Emergency Management Fire Chief Antonio Lopez. "That sewer can come up and can cause serious health issues for people waddling through that water."
Floodwater can contain toxic waste, sewage particles and sometimes harmful chemicals. The bacteria spreads quickly and could cause diarrhea, nausea, fever and muscle aches.
The water inside your home is just as dangerous, especially if the power is still on. If you can turn off the main power from a dry location, then go ahead. But never go into standing water if you think the power might be on.
Downed power lines are another threat.
If power lines are down, there's a chance your lights are out. If you plan on using a generator, place the ones with gas engines at least 20 feet away from any windows, doors or vents.
Carbon monoxide is something you can't smell or taste.
Make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector and fresh batteries. If the alarm starts beeping, leave your home immediately and call 911.
After the storm, recovery and cleanup begins.
Wearing the right safety gear is essential while handling water-soaked debris. Between the mold and contaminated floodwater, you don't want to get sick.
Appropriate gear includes goggles, hearing protection, an N-95 facemask, long-sleeved shirts, heavy work gloves, long pants, and waterproof rubber boots.
Don't forget to protect wounds and cuts with waterproof bandages.
Cleaning mold can be overwhelming. A good and cost-efficient way is to mix one cup of household bleach with one gallon of water.
Dealing with disasters can cause stress and intense emotions. It is natural to feel fear, sadness and anxiety.
Dealing with these emotions and getting help when needed helps you, your family, and the people around you to recover.
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