Protecting Yourself When Cleaning Your Home
For personal protection during clean-up, wear rubber gloves and other protective clothing. Avoid direct skin contact with contaminated material. Practice good personal hygiene (i.e. wash hands before eating or smoking) and change outer clothing before entering a "clean" residence.
Do not use private well water supplies affected by flooding until they have been disinfected and tested. You should wait 10 days after the flood waters have receded away from the well, and then disinfect it using the Department of Environment and Local Government's guide entitled: How to Chlorinate your Well Water.
To ensure that the disinfection worked and the water is free of harmful bacteria, do a bacteriological test about a week after you’ve chlorinated the well and before consuming the water again. Until tests indicate a safe water supply, water for drinking and personal use should be brought to a rolling boil for at least 1 minute, cooled and then stored in clean covered containers. For information on how and when to test your water, consult the Department of Environment and Local Government's guide entitled: Well Chlorination and Water Testing for Those Affected by Flooding.
If you think that your well may be affected by chemicals such as furnace oil, gasoline or agricultural chemicals, you should not use water from the well for any purpose whatsoever – even if it has been boiled. You should contact the nearest Regional office of the Department of Environment and Local Government at (506) 453-2690 for further information or visit their website.
Mould and Mildew
To avoid the health hazards of mildew and mould, water soaked walls and insulation should be removed, and the space and studding allowed to dry thoroughly. Walls constructed of gyproc, plaster or wood will dry out in time but insulation in these walls is no longer effective. As insulation becomes water soaked the weight causes it to settle and compact at the bottom, leaving a large portion of the wall no longer insulated.
Obtain approval from assessors, insurance agents and other relevant agencies before discarding or destroying any furniture or equipment.
Foods Affected by Flooding
To avoid the health hazards of food contamination, all perishable goods, vacuum-packed foods and any other foods affected by flooding should be thrown out. Commercially-canned food properly identified by labels, containers which show no leaks, swelling or rusting at joints or edges should be thoroughly washed and dried. Vacuum-packed foods pose a special hazard due to dried waste material inside crevices and covers. They should be discarded.
Home preserves, meats, fish or dairy products should be discarded as unsafe if they have been affected by flood water. Frozen foods left in a freezer will stay frozen for a few days without electricity if the door is kept shut. These products can be refrozen if ice crystals are still present and the food has not been exposed to flood waters. All perishable food left in a refrigerator more than 24 hours without electricity should be discarded.
Cooking and eating utensils should be cleaned of all deposits, washed with a household detergent or soap and rinsed for at least two full minutes in a mixture containing 15 millilitres (one table spoon) of liquid bleach in 4.5 litres (one gallon) of water. Utensils used for infant feeding should be boiled before use.