As Hurricane Ida poses a marginal risk for severe weather to Dallas County and others throughout the state, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is urging the public to follow safety and health precautions.
In particular ADPH advises following health precautions in regard to COVID by washing hands regularly, wearing a face mask and staying at least six feet from other people.
Those with disabilities can contact the Disability and Disaster Hotline at 800-626-4959 or go to disasterstrategies.org for assistance.
With a portion of Alabama - including Dallas County - under a flash flood warning, the ADPH says that mold can be created in homes as a result. These can pose risks for people with asthma or allergies, as well as those with HIV, chemotherapy patients and people who have had organ transplants.
ADPH recommends doing to following to prevent the effects of mold:
- Remove standing water from your home, office or business.
- Remove wet materials such as carpets, pads, insulation, wallboard, pillows and mattresses. If mold growth has already occurred, carefully remove the moldy material.
- Use personal protective equipment when cleaning or removing mold. These include gloves, goggles and a face mask.
- Do not use a respirator if you have heart disease or chronic lung disease such as asthma or emphysema. Due to an inability to wear protective equipment, persons with these conditions should avoid mold cleanup. While cleaning up, take breaks in a well-ventilated area. Individuals with known mold allergies or asthma should not clean or remove moldy materials.
- Do not mix bleach with anything except water. Mixing bleach with other liquids could produce hazardous gases from a chemical reaction. Read and follow label instructions carefully. Open windows and doors to provide plenty of fresh air.
Additionally, well water can be affected by flooding as floodwater can cause contamination. To prevent any potentially harmful effects of contaminated well water after flooding it is recommended that it be tested before drinking.
Heavy rains and flood can also cause damage to septic tanks when the ground becomes saturated. It is advised that people watch for signs such as sinks and toilets draining slowly.
ADPH advises against using generators, grills, camp stoves and others that emit gas inside homes or outside near an open window. The carbon monoxide that comes from these will have harmful effects that can be fatal if exposed to it long enough.
For other tips, see the press release on ADPH's website.