Hidden Storm Dangers
Severe weather storms such as severe thunderstorms, hurricanes and tornadoes devastate different regions across the country and world every year. Unfortunately, some of the biggest dangers caused by storms can occur after the storm has already passed. In addition to a lack of supplies and road closures, standing flood water that results from these storms, can cause serious health risks to you, your family and any pets.
Some of the most severe problems floods can bring, other than damage to your home or office, are as follows:
Standing flood water has many health risks. The CDC has a section detailing all of the possible diseases that become more likely in the event of a storm disaster, including Norovirus and the West Nile Virus. Contracting things like bacterial infections and diseases become a much greater possibility when there’s standing water. That’s because flood water can literally infect everything it touches. When flood water can so easily spread out along large areas, this means that the more water, the greater the threat of danger. Anything in its path that it comes into contact with, such as articles of clothing to children’s toys, pets toys can become infected with disease from the water. For this reason, it is incredibly important to not to drink or eat anything that has been contaminated by standing flood water, and to always wash your hands as often as possible- especially before you eat. You don’t want to put anything into your mouth, or touch anything you’ll be eating unless you’ve first washed your hands to try and eliminate risk. In addition, open wounds pose a much greater risk of becoming infected as a result of storm waters. If at all possible, do whatever you can to keep open wounds out of the water or cover with waterproof bandages. You can otherwise end up with an infection which can potentially lead to something worse.
Disease isn't the only invisible hazard that can exist within standing water. Murky water can also conceal dangerous insects or even threatening animals beneath the surface that you cannot see. A lot of this depends on the location of the storm, but it's not unheard of for alligators, crocodiles, snakes, sharks, and other dangerous animals, to make use of a new habitat resulting from a storm. Where flood waters go, they can and often do them look to inhabit. In addition, much of the physical damage caused by a storm is still present in the water. Some debris you’ll see floating before you, but some will fall deep into the flood waters and can be very damaging if you are to step on it. This can include broken glass or sharp metal which might be impossible to see in the water before it causes injury to you. There’s also the fact that these storms frequently cause damage to power lines. That can lead to a risk of electrocution in standing water. Power lines can fall into it and remain active at their source. Not all electricity will cut off in a storm so seeing a line down doesn’t mean the power is cut off. Flood water also poses the possibility of causing drowning, whether people are in their cars or trying to swim across. It is best to never try and drive or wade through flood waters. Aside from the risks already mentioned, you also never know how deep water is in some parts. It is not worth the risk to try and get through the waters. It is best to evacuate yourself, your family and your pets when warnings come and before the floods move in. If unable to evacuate it is best to find a high level of a building or home, or to stay on a roof until help can arrive.
In case of storm damage or water damage to your home or office, at SERVPRO of Burlington, we are here to assist you. We can be reached 24/7 and 365 at 336-379-1772.