The Florida Department of Health in Leon County says to follow these tips to stay healthy and to protect you and your family in the wake of Hurricane Hermine.
Food Safety: Preventing Foodborne Diseases
• People should not eat any food that may have come in contact with contaminated water from floods or tidal surges.
• Commercially prepared cans of food should not be eaten if there is a bulging or opening on the can or screw caps, soda bottle tops or twist caps.
• Undamaged, commercially canned foods can be saved if labels are removed and cans are disinfected in a bleach solution. Use 1/4 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water. Re-label the cans, including expiration date and type of food. Assume that home-canned food is unsafe.
• Infants should preferably be breastfed or fed only premixed canned baby formula. Do not use powdered formulas prepared with untreated water; use boiled water instead.
• When the power is out, refrigerators will keep foods cool for approximately four hours. Thawed and refrigerated foods should be thrown out after four hours.
Sanitation and Hygiene: Preventing Waterborne Illness
• Basic hygiene is very important during this emergency period. Always wash your hands with soap and water. Use only water that has been boiled or disinfected for washing hands before eating, after toilet use, after helping in cleanup activities and after handling items contaminated by floodwater or sewage.
• Flood water may contain fecal matter from sewage systems, agricultural and industrial waste and septic tanks. If you have open cuts or sores exposed to the floodwater, keep them as clean as possible by washing them with soap and disinfected or boiled water.
• Apply antibiotic cream to reduce the risk of infection. If a wound or sore develops redness, swelling or drainage, see a physician.
• Do not allow children to play in floodwater. They can be exposed to water contaminated with fecal matter.
• Do not allow children to play with toys that have been in floodwater until the toys have been disinfected. Use 1/4 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water to disinfect toys and other items.