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.
- If your well is currently under water, do not use your well water.
- If your well water has a persistant odour or discolouration even after letting the water run, and/or you think that your well may be affected by chemicals such as furnace oil, gasoline or agricultural chemicals, do not use your well water for any purpose whatsoever – even if it has been boiled. If this is the case, 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.
- When flood waters have receded away from your well, and chemical contamination is not suspected, all water destined for drinking, making juices and ice cubes, washing fruits and vegetables, cooking, or dental hygiene should be held at a rolling boil for one (1) minute. Water can be boiled ahead of time, cooled and then stored in clean covered containers. Water should be boiled until the well is chlorinated and test results show the water is free from harmful bacteria. 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.
Mould and Mildew
To avoid the health hazards of mildew and mould, follow these important tips.
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.