Natural disasters are inevitable. Deaths of our dear ones are not the only loss. Helpless animals die; money and property are lost; and worst of all, victims often lose faith or get disheartened. Apart from these losses, natural disasters also bring in a great risk of epidemic breakout and other challenges post-the-flood.
You may escape the floods during its peak, but when it’s time to go back to your residence and start revamping, it gets important to be aware of potential risks and challenges that shall come along the way. Flood affected areas are not just water; it’s all about mud, debris, unwanted plants, insects, bacteria, snakes etc. Take note of the following safety measures that a flood victim should definitely be aware of:
Be Friends with the Sun: First and foremost, it is ALWAYS the best idea to do the cleaning process during the daytime. Avoid night times unless extremely essential conditions, in which case, make sure to use torches.
Keep Your Skin Covered: No matter where and when you start, as precautionary measures before entering the affected areas, ensure you are wearing full clothes, gloves, socks and boots (the thicker and longer the boots, the better).
Dos and Don’ts During a Snake Bite: Flood waters breed a good number of snakes and other insects. There is a good chance that you encounter them when you move back to your house, in and around debris and plants if any. On seeing a snake, avoid sudden movements. Do not turn back and run. Instead, take slow steps backward and move as away as possible from the snake. Snakes do not purposely chase or attack humans unless they feel threatened. Thus, aiming to catch/kill it is not suggested. Once you are out of the place safe, call for professional help.
God forbid, in case of a snake bite, do not panic or move too much. Movement or chaos in the body will increase the heart rate which in turn leads to a faster spread of poison throughout the body, which must be avoided. Instead, stay as still as possible, remove any rings, belts, watches etc, keep yourself warm, move your arms near your chest and ensure that the level of the chest is above the level of the wound. Tie a tight bandage 2-4 inches above the wound to restrict movement of poison.
Do not attempt unethical methods like cutting off the bite area from the body, directly covering the spot with anything, sucking venom from mouth, using ice packs on the point, eating food or drinking water until you are completely treated and out of danger. Apart from all these first aid care steps, it is important to rush for medical assistance since anti-venom serum (the only cure for venomous snake bites) are available only at hospitals or other medically authorized centers.
Note: Do not try to use your discretion about whether the snake is venomous or non-venomous. In either case, you need to rush to the hospital.
Gas & Electrical Appliances: The first thing you do before entering the house is to switch the electrical mains off, check for gas/kerosene leakage. To avoid accidents, keep all the gas and electrical appliances off until the entire house is free of water.
Open Windows: Keep all the windows open for ventilation and to escape any possible remains of gas.
Special Attention To Your Children: For the initial few cleanup sessions, avoid taking your child/children to the house, especially the first time and during the night.
Potassium Permanganate: One of the most powerful and relied-on forms of water cleansing is the usage of Potassium Permanganate. This purplish-black powder is available at stores easily. Having access to this is an advantage. Add Potassium Permanganate to impure water and allow it to stay. Once this level of purification is done, Alum Coagulant can be added for further purification. And in the last level, carbon is used.
Stay Updated: Continue to listen to the radio, local news or other information sources to stay updated on the status of local water safety, changes in conditions. Wait until the water is declared as fit-to-use by authorizations and then continue usage.
We hope this helped and we from MedPlus wish you a fast and recovery!