Department of Health Warns of Safety After the Storm - Mississippi State Department of Health

2022-06-01 02:15:50 By : Mr. Vincent Chan

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The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) continues to monitor the health impacts of recent severe weather.  Significant power outages, home repairs, and flooding can create dangerous and potentially life-threatening situations, even days after the storms have ended.

Mississippi residents should take the following special precautions against health risks after the storm:

Food Safety: Preventing Food-Borne Diseases

Floodwater and Drinking Water Safety

In times of severe weather or flooding, any loss or significant drop in your water pressure, even if it is brief, means that your water supply could be contaminated by groundwater. If you notice an interruption, loss of pressure, or significant drop in pressure in your water service, follow standard boil-water precautions below. If you are unsure of the safety of your water, contact your water supply operator.

If your area is officially notified that emergency water purification is necessary, MSDH advises the following:

Power Outages: Preventing Fire Hazards

Using battery-powered lanterns and flashlights is preferable to using candles.

If you must use candles, make sure you put them in safe holders away from curtains, paper, wood, or other flammable items.

Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless, tasteless gas, and is highly poisonous. Take the following precautions to help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:

Clearing Standing Water: Preventing Mosquito-Borne Illness

Heavy rains and flooding can lead to an increase in mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are most active at sunrise and sunset. Public health authorities will be working actively to control the spread of any diseases transmitted by mosquitoes.

To protect against mosquitoes, MSDH urges the public to remain diligent in their personal mosquito protection efforts. These should include the 4 D's for prevention:

Stagnant moisture can be an ideal source for mold growth – all it needs is a source of moisture, a place to grow, and food sources such as leaves, wood, paper or dirt. When airborne mold spores are present in large numbers, they can cause allergic reactions, asthma episodes, infections, and

other respiratory problems for people. Exposure to high spore levels can cause the development of an allergy to the mold.

If mold is a problem in your home, you need to clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture. Identify and correct the moisture source; clean, disinfect with bleach, then dry the moldy area; and then bag and dispose any material that has moldy residues, such as rags, paper, leaves or debris.

The MSDH neither regulates nor tests for mold. You should contact a commercial environmental consulting firm for services related to mold.

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Press Contact: MSDH Office of Communications, (601) 576-7667 Note to media: After hours or during emergencies, call (601) 576-7400