Our state has experienced some powerful storms over the past month with the most recent hitting the Greater Phoenix Area last night. After the storm passes, the threat to public health can continue. Fortunately, there are simple actions you can take to prevent the spread of these health risks, including mosquito-borne disease, flood water runoff and food that has gone bad after a power outage.
Heavy rainfall can leave standing water which is an appealing breeding ground for mosquitoes. The bad news is mosquitoes carry disease like West Nile Virus and St. Louis encephalitis. As you clean up after the storm, be sure to check for any standing water in outdoor containers. Mosquitoes can lay their eggs in almost any standing water. If you have larger areas of standing water, like pools and ponds, be sure to treat those with the appropriate chemicals.
Power outages can turn your refrigerator into a food destroyer. You don’t have to be an expert investigator to know what to save and when to throw out as you sort through your food. Check out this great resource from FoodSafety.gov. We like to say, “when in doubt, throw it out!” You’ll find a list of tips on food safety on our extreme weather and public health page.
Should you find yourself cleaning up after a flood, be sure to take precautions by wearing rubber boots, waterproof gloves and goggles if necessary. We cover the top tips you need to know when you return home after a flood. It’s important to keep kids out of water runoff following a storm. It’s hard to tell what is in the water that flows from back yards, dog parks and trash bins, so better to stay safe and avoid contact with flooded areas.
Whether you are currently cleaning up after a storm or keeping these tips in mind for the next one, I hope you find this information helpful to keep you and your family healthy.