LINCOLN, Neb. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) today warned residents to be aware of potential health and safety risks when returning home as the floodwaters recede.
"People are anxious to get on with their lives after a flood," said Federal Coordinating Officer Stephen R. Thompson, FEMA's top official for the Nebraska recovery, "but if you had floodwater in your home, there are certain cautions you should take when beginning the recovery process."
Potential health/safety hazards after a disaster include carbon monoxide poisoning from generators used to power homes or clean-up equipment; electrocution from stepping into water charged by live electric wires; infections to cuts or scrapes that come into contact with surfaces contaminated by floodwater; chemical hazards from spills or storage tank breaks, respiratory and heat-related illnesses; and the worsening of chronic illness from overexertion.
NEMA’s Web site, http://www.nema.ne.gov/ offers important information for flood survivors, including links to resources from FEMA, the Center for Disease Control, Department of Health and Human Services, and other agencies.
“Flooding Resources for Nebraska Citizens” includes:
/hazard/flood/fl_after.shtm – is a link to FEMA-recommended steps that should be taken immediately after a flood.
/hazard/flood/coping.shtm – takes browsers to a multi-faceted FEMA Web page that contains detailed information on cleaning and salvaging household items.
http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/floods/after.asp#cleanup – is a site maintained by the Center for Disease Control with helpful information on health/safety concerns that can result following a flood.
http://www.dhhs.ne.gov/newsroom/features/SevereStorms/#News – provides a wealth of information, including a PDF download with detailed storm/flooding recovery information from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.