From our partners at Florida Department of Health – Lee County.

Storms can bring heavy rains that could increase the risk of diseases. Following are some tips to help you avoid becoming ill.  For more information during an emergency event call the Florida State Assistance Information Line (SAIL) at 1-800-342-3557.

Find more information online at lee.floridahealth.gov. 

Food

  • Food & Dirty Water: Do not eat food that has come in contact with dirty water from floods or tidal surges.
  • Commercial Cans of Food: Canned food that are bulging or opened should not be eaten. Remove labels from and disinfect unopened cans.  Assume home-canned foods are unsafe.
  • Baby Formula: Infants should only be fed ready-to-feed formula or prepare powdered/concentrated liquid formula with sterilized water. Only use sanitized bottles and nipples. Unused formula must be refrigerated.  If breastfeeding, continue to do so.
  • Frozen or Refrigerated Foods: If refrigerators or freezers have had no power since the storm, clean them out.  Perishable foods are unsafe for eating.

Mosquitoes

  • Heavy rains & flooding events can lead to an increase in mosquitoes.
  • Dusk & Dawn: Mosquitoes are most active during these times.  Avoid being outdoors.
  • Clothing: Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks.
  • DEET: Use repellants containing  30% DEET.  Apply repellant directly on clothing for more protection.  Follow manufacturers directions. Do not use on children less than 2 months old.  Use mosquito netting or keep infants indoors.
  • Drainage:  Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water.  Clear stagnant water that has collected near your home.

Heat Exhaustion

  • Warning Signs: Heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, or fainting.
  • Cool Off:  Drink cool, non-alcoholic beverages.  Take a shower, bath, or sponge bath.  Wear lightweight clothing. Rest in an air-conditioned environment.
  • Heat Exhaustion:  Can lead to stroke.  Severe symptoms include cool, moist skin, fast and weak pulse, fast and shallow breathing.  Seek medical attention immediately if symptoms continue for more than an hour or if you have heart problems or high blood pressure.

Water

  • Always Wash Your Hands:  Use soap and water that has been boiled or disinfected.
  • Boil Water Notice: If a boil water notice is in effect for your area, take precautions if you have a private well.  If you are unsure if your water is safe, drink commerciallybottled water.
  • Boiling Water:  Maintain a rolling boil for one minute to remove bacteria.
  • Disinfecting Water: Mix 8 drops of plain, unscented bleach per gallon of water and let stand for 30 minutes.  It water is still cloudy, repeat process.
  • Infection & Floodwater:  Raw sewage may be present in floodwater. Keep open cuts and sores clean and apply antibiotic ointment after cleaning.  See a doctor if the wound develops redness, swelling or drainage.
  • Children & Floodwater:  Children should not play in floodwater.  If toys have been in floodwater disinfect them by using ¼ cup bleach in one gallon of clean water, let stand for at least 30 minutes and air dry.