Health Risks and Other Dangers Caused by Floods in Florida

Floods aren’t unusual in Florida, which could happen at any time of the year. It is considered a coast-to-coast threat that brings destruction and imparts small to severe damages to lives and property.

Most Floridians are already equipped to deal with this frequent hazard, but for people new to Florida or those who haven’t had any experience with flooding before, it is crucial to learn about the hidden dangers and diseases caused by floodwater beforehand to stay safe especially during the Atlantic hurricane season. Learn more in this article by ServiceMaster by PWF.

What are the dangers caused by floods?

Floodwater damage can be caused by the simplest of events, such a broken dishwasher or a leaking pipe, to the most destructive of calamities like hurricanes and heavy rains. At any rate, flooding incidents present a variety of dangers, especially those with dramatic water levels. Read them below.

Electric Shock

Electricity Post
Photo by stevepb (via Pixabay)

After an intense storm or severe weather, the streets may be littered with fallen powerlines which could create an electrical current. Wading in standing floodwater charged with current from displaced electrical systems can cause an electrical shock that may result in burns, internal injuries, and even death in most serious cases.

It is best to report any downed power line to the proper authorities. Before entering a recently flooded property, make sure the main power is shut off to ensure you don’t get shocked.

Injury from Sharp Objects and Unstable Structures

Deep and murky floodwaters may conceal sharp objects like bits of metal, broken glass, and nails. Wear protective footgear in case there is a need to walk through the flood.

Likewise, the structural integrity of homes and buildings are affected when a flood happens. Unless a safety clearance has been announced, do not enter homes or business facilities. If you are at home and hear shifting noises or other unfamiliar sounds, leave immediately as these noises could mean that parts of your home are preparing to collapse.

Infectious Diseases from Open Wounds

Viruses
Photo by mattthewafflecat (via Pixabay)

Bacteria, viruses, and other flood-borne infections can enter the human body through open cuts or sores when one is treading on contaminated floodwaters. If there is a need to get into the water, proper protective gear must be worn at all times.

Chemical Poisoning

As mentioned, avoid moving through floodwaters as they contain many dangerous chemicals, such as gas leaks, oil, pesticides, and other toxic substances. Chemical poisoning from floodwater contact may be indicated by headaches, skin rashes, muscle twitches, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, and confusion and disorientation.

Bacterial Infection from Fecal Matter

Salmonella
Salmonella. Photo from Pixabay

Floodwaters can contain fecal matter from humans and animals which is a breeding ground of bacteria and viruses, which could result to health concerns such as gastroenteritis, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Avoid contact with floodwater whenever possible.

Danger of Displaced Wildlife

Florida is rich in wildlife, so it may not be surprising if alligators and snakes get carried by the current and appear near places of residence. In addition, this is also a hard time even for house pets like dogs and cats, and the stress of natural disasters may cause them to attack people.

How do I prepare for a flood?

Here are some steps to take before a flood, as seen on weather.gov.

1. Create a communications plan and discuss it with your family. If there is still time, review it to make sure that each member is aware of their function when the disaster hits.

2. Assemble an emergency kit. It must include:

3. Know your risk. Research if your area is a high-risk zone to make the necessary preparations for evacuation, which can help save lives.

4. Know your emergency alerts and warnings.

5. Prepare your property for flooding. Flash floods can occur within minutes, so it’s best to protect your home from flood entry with the use of sand bags or other materials ahead of time. Check your plumbing to have any damage repaired to prevent leaks or back ups in your drains. Also, it would be best to purchase flood insurance in advance since basic homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage.

6. Prepare your family and pets. Evacuations can be spontaneous, so do not wait until the last minute to pack or gather essentials. Make plans as to where to stay in case you are evacuated.

Get Life Back to Normal after a Flood Event in Florida with ServiceMaster by PWF

ServiceMaster by PWF doing Water Damage InspectionThe full impact of a flood isn’t over until your community has been restored. When it’s time to get your community back to normal, count on the experts at ServiceMaster by PWF for flood cleanup and repair and the expert guidance you need from crisis to resolution.

With the proper toolsover 30 years of expertise in the restoration industry, and real experience helping countless communities rebuild after a flood, we have what it takes to help. Contact ServiceMaster by PWF today to find out how our qualified flood damage repair services can help you in the aftermath of a flood. We are a preferred insurance vendor, and we guarantee to guide you in your insurance claims.

Call ServiceMaster by PWF at (866) 599-0871 to minimize flood damage and prevent other dangers floodwater may cause. We provide water and flood damage restoration to ClearwaterSt. PetersburgPinellas ParkDunedin, Largo, St. Augustine, Tarpon Springs, Ponte Vedra Beach, St. John, Jacksonville, Green Cove Springs, Fleming Island, Lakeside, and other parts of PinellasSt. JohnsDuval, and Clay Counties.