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DOH-Seminole After the Storm Safety Tips

By Mirna Chamorro

September 12, 2017

Sanford, Fla.- Seminole County residents are reminded to keep the following safety tips after the storm.

SAFE WATER: For drinking, cooking, washing wounds and brushing teeth, use bottled water, boiled water or disinfected water.


  • Add 8 drops of plain unscented house hold bleach (4–6% strength) or 7 drops of high strength bleach (8.25% strength) per gallon of water.

  • Mix and let stand for 30 minutes.

  • If the water is cloudy after 30 minutes, repeat once.

  • For Boil Water Notices

  • Hold a rolling boil for 1 minute to kill organisms.


  • No one should play in flood water.

  • Soak dirty toys in clean, disinfected water.


  • Use soap and safe water- Wash hands before eating, after using the toilet and when cleaning and handling things dirtied by floodwater or sewage.

  • Keep open cuts or sores clean- With clean hands, apply antibiotic ointment. If redness, swelling or drainage develops, see a doctor.


  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to maintain the cold temperature.

  • Freezers: Food is safe in a full freezer for about 48 hours and in a half-full freezer for about 24 hours, if the door remains closed. Food is safe if it has ice crystals or if it’s at 40° F or below. To avoid leaks, empty the ice out of your freezer before it melts.

  • Refrigerators: Food in an unopened refrigerator is safe for about 4 hours. After that time, throw out perishable food: meat, poultry, fish, soft cheeses, milk, eggs, left overs and deli items.

  • Don’t eat from bulged or opened cans.

  • Clean unopened cans dirtied by flood water: remove labels and, using clean water, soak the cans for at least 30 minutes.

  • Assume that home-canned foods are unsafe.

  • Never taste a food to determine its safety.

  • Ready-to-feed infant formula is best. Prepare powdered or concentrated liquid formula with clean water. Use sanitized bottles and nipples. Refrigerate unused formula. If you are breast feeding, don’t stop.

Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless and tasteless gas. It can cause tiredness, weakness, chest pains, shortness of breath, upset stomach, vomiting, headaches, confusion, impaired vision, loss of consciousness and death.

  • Prevent CO Poisoning- Never use gas-powered generators inside. Keep portable generators or gasoline engines at least 20 feet away from open windows, doors, window air conditioners, or exhaust vents.

  • Don’t burn charcoal inside or leave any gas-powered engine running in any enclosed or partially enclosed space. Install battery-powered or plug-in CO alarms (with battery backup) in your home.

  • If you suspect CO poisoning, open doors and windows, turn off gas appliances, go outside and call 911 or the Poison Information Center at 1-800-222-1222.


  • Symptoms: Confusion, altered mental status, slurred speech, loss of consciousness (coma), hot, dry skin or profuse sweating, seizures, very high body temperature. Heat Stroke can be fatal if treatment is delayed.

  • Heat stroke prevention- Keep cool, drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages; take a cool shower, bath or sponge bath; wear lightweight clothing; and rest in an air-conditioned room.


  • Use battery-powered lanterns and flashlights.

  • If you must use candles, put them in safe holders away from curtains, paper, wood or other flammable items.


  • Cover your skin- Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long sleeves. Mosquito spray is not safe for children under 2 months old, use mosquito netting to protect them. Fix broken screens on windows, doors, porches and patios.

  • Drain standing storm water- Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where water has collected.

  • Spray bare skin and clothing with mosquito repellent. Use spray with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus and IR3535. Follow label instructions.