Tropical storms and hurricanes can cause flooding. Although skin contact with flood waters does not, by itself, pose a serious health risk, health hazards are a concern when waters become contaminated.
Moving Flood Water
During flooding, the greatest threat comes from moving water. The deeper the moving water, the greater the threat. People should avoid driving in moving water, regardless of the size of the vehicle.
Pooling Flood Water
Heavy rain causes flood waters to rise and pool on streets and throughout neighborhoods. In these situations, be aware of the following:
Contaminated Water Supply
Drinking contaminated water may cause illness. Water in a hurricane-affected area may not be safe to drink. Listen to local announcements on safety of the water supply.
If the public water system lost pressure, a boil water notice will likely be issued for your area.
People in these areas should take precautions to avoid consuming contaminated water. If your well is in a flooded area, your water may contain disease-causing bacteria and may not be safe to drink.
DOH recommends one of the following:
After the flooding subsides:
Basic hygiene is very important during a natural disaster. Always wash your hands with soap and water that has been boiled or disinfected and cooled. Hands should be washed before preparing or eating food, after using the bathroom or changing a diaper, after handling uncooked food, after playing with a pet, after handling garbage, after tending to someone who is sick or injured, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, after helping in flood cleanup activities, and after handling items contaminated with flood water or sewage.
About the Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.
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