The sickening, dangerous side effects of flooding

Residential flooding following torrential downpours, and other severe weather events is one of the most heartbreaking headaches faced by a homeowner.

Drying out and cleaning up after a flood can be a laborious, expensive and exhausting experience with much attention paid to salvaging what hasn’t been claimed by floodwaters. However, there are a few side effects of flooding — some standard, some a bit unexpected depending on where you live — that can adversely impact the health, well-being and sanity of flood victims.

But for the sake of being prepared for just about everything — amphibians, reptiles and raw sewage included — here’s a look at more of the unsavory side effects of household flooding.

Sewage where it shouldn’t be

Heavy, steady rains can spell relief in drought-prone areas but with torrential downpours comes a rather gruesome side effect: backed-up sanitary or combined sewage lines. Excessive amounts of stormwater brought on by localized flooding can enter overworked and antiquated sewer systems and cause overflow to run into the street, possible into your home. Overworked sewer systems can result in overflowing toilets, raw sewage-leaking bathtub drains and more.

Unbeknownst to many homeowners, sewer-related backups are not covered by most homeowner’s insurance policies or flooding insurance; in most instances, protection against blocked private (lateral) and main sewage lines must be purchased separately as an additional rider at a nominal cost.

Clean-up following a sewage backup requires that homeowners practice extreme caution given the risk of coming in direct contact with dangerous pathogens.

Bacteria, and not the good kind

Outbreaks of vomiting and diarrhea tend to happen during natural disasters. Bacteria, parasites and viruses, such as the norovirus, can spread as homes lose electricity, people gather together in close spaces and access to clean water becomes limited.

Floodwater also may contain infectious organisms, including intestinal bacteria such as salmonella, and shigella; Hepatitis A; and agents of typhoid, paratyphoid and tetnus

The symptoms generally include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, muscle aches and fever. The most common source of illness during a flood is through consuming contaminated food or water. The exception is tetanus, which is when an infectious disease enters the body through a cut in your skin, affecting the nervous system and causing spasms.Washing hands regularly, designating a toilet seat for people with diarrhea, using hand sanitizer and separating people who are ill from those who are healthy can help reduce illnesses.The water should be boiled properly.

Mosquitoes and standing water

Near or directly in bodies of stagnant water of pretty much any shape, size or form — marshes, puddles, lakes, irrigated pastures, streams, clogged gutters, flower pots, half-empty birdbaths and the list goes on — is where annoying and potentially deadly mosquitoes choose to lay their eggs. And generally, these disease-carrying vectors in their adult form don’t stray too far from where they were born.

Residential flooding can spell trouble when it comes to plagues of mosquitoes, which could carry Zika,  or other harmful viruses. Most mosquitoes that appear after floods are not the disease-carrying kind but can hinder recovery operations by swarming residents and cleanup workers.

The most effective way for homeowners to control mosquito populations following heavy rain and flooding is through source reduction or the elimination of the places where these particularly pesky insects breed and thrive — old tires, buckets, plastic wading pools, wheelbarrows, etc.

Mold and all that comes with it

Mold growth that come along with prolonged exposure to spores are a massive concern following residential flooding that can occur in the wake of severe weather. Discolored walls and ceilings, signs of water damage and a foul, musty odor are all dead giveaways that action should be taken immediately.

If in doubt, a mold remediation specialist can help identify the presence of health-compromising microscopic fungi. However, your eyes and nose are generally the best ways to detect an infestation.

A basic, initial step is to remove all wet possessions and building materials from a home within 24 to 48 hours of flooding.If it cannot be dried, cleaned and replaced, the item should be discarded — this particularly applies to carpeting, ceiling tiles and drywall. It is crucial to also air out a home by opening doors and windows and employing fans, air conditioners and/or de-humidifiers. Cleaning semi-porous and nonporous items with soap and water or a commercial mold remediation product can further prevent mold growth as can basic moisture control practices such as increasing air circulation, fixing leaks, cleaning air ducts and eliminating sources of indoor condensation.

Fuel where it shouldn’t be

The fuels wont be at its place and their will be leakage and this results in a dangerous accidents.So requested not to switch on the gas cylinders when you enter the house. With the help of electrician you should enter.

Snakes, frogs

Many flood-stricken homeowners, preoccupied with salvaging possessions and filing insurance claims, often neglect to remember that with rising waters sometimes come unwanted — and rather nightmarish houseguests — in the form of venomous reptiles.

Following the historic flooding that impacted large swaths, thousands of deadly displaced snakes terrified stunned struggling to dry out. And this is a phenomenon not limited to Down Under.

But though they’re dangerous, experts say if you don’t touch them and leave them alone, they’ll do the same to you. There are thousands of snakes that lived on these river and are now in people’s sewers. Those snakes will come up through your drain.


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