FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 10, 2005
CONTACT: Lindsay Hodges 850-245-4111
**HURRICANE DENNIS INFORMATION SHEET **
Department of Health Warns of Risks After the Storm
Food safety: Preventing food-borne diseases
Department of Health advises that individuals should not eat
any food that may have come into contact with contaminated
water from floods or tidal surges.
- Commercially prepared
cans of food should not be eaten if there is a bulging or
opening on the can or the screw caps, soda pop bottle tops
- Undamaged, commercially canned foods can be
saved if you remove the labels and then disinfect the cans
in a bleach solution. Use ¼ cup of bleach in one gallon of
water; re-label the cans including expiration date and type
of food. Assume that home-canned food is unsafe.
should be fed only pre-mixed canned baby formula. Do not use
powdered formulas prepared with treated water. Use boiled
water when preparing formula.
- Frozen and refrigerated
foods can be unsafe after a hurricane. When the power is
out, refrigerators will keep foods cool for only about four
hours. Thawed and refrigerated foods should be thrown out
after four hours.
Sanitation and Hygiene: Preventing waterborne illness
Basic hygiene is very important during this emergency
period. Always wash your hands with soap and water that has
been boiled or disinfected before eating, after toilet use,
after participating in cleanup activities and after handling
articles contaminated by floodwater or sewage.
that occurs after the hurricane may mean that water contains
fecal matter from sewage systems, agricultural and
industrial waste and septic tanks. If you have open cuts or
sores exposed to the floodwater, keep them as clean as
possible by washing them with soap and disinfected or boiled
water. Apply antibiotic ointment to reduce the risk of
infection. If a wound or sore develops redness, swelling or
drainage, see a physician.
- Do not allow children to play
in floodwater. They can be exposed to water contaminated
with fecal matter. Do not allow children to play with toys
that have been in floodwater until the toys have been
disinfected. Use ¼ cup of bleach in one gallon of water to
disinfect toys and other items.
Power Outages: Preventing fire hazards
battery-powered lanterns and flashlights is preferable to
- If you must use candles, make sure you put
them in safe holders away from curtains, paper, wood, or
other flammable items.
Clearing Standing Water: Preventing mosquito-borne
- Heavy rains and flooding can lead to an increase
in mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are most active at sunrise and
sunset. Public health authorities will be working actively
to control the spread of any diseases transmitted by
- To protect against mosquitoes, DOH urges the
public to remain diligent in their personal mosquito
protection efforts. These should include the “5 D’s” for
- Dusk and Dawn – Avoid being outdoors when
mosquitoes are seeking blood. For many species, this is
during the dusk and dawn hours.
- Dress – Wear clothing that
covers most of your skin.
- DEET – When the potential exists
for exposure to mosquitoes, repellents containing DEET
N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) are recommended. Picaridin
and oil of lemon eucalyptus are other repellent options.
Drainage – Check around your home to rid the area of
standing water, which is where mosquitoes can lay their
Tips on Repellent Use
- Always read label directions
carefully for the approved usage before applying a repellent
to skin. Some repellants are not suitable for children.
Products with concentrations of up to 30 percent DEET are
generally recommended. Other potential mosquito repellents,
as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) in April 2005, contain picaridin or oil of
lemon eucalyptus. These products are generally available at
local pharmacies. Look for active ingredients to be listed
on the product label.
- Apply insect repellent to exposed
skin, or onto clothing, but not under clothing.
protecting children, read label instructions to be sure the
repellent is age-appropriate. According to the CDC, mosquito
repellents containing oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be
used on children under the age of 3 years. DEET is not
recommended on children younger than 2 months old.
should be kept indoors or mosquito netting should be used
over carriers when mosquitoes are present.
- Avoid applying
repellents to the hands of children. Adults should apply
repellent first to their own hands and then transfer it to
the child’s skin and clothing.
- If additional protection is
necessary, apply a permethrin repellent directly to your
clothing. Again, always follow the manufacturer’s
Tips on Eliminating Mosquito Breeding
of breeding sites is one of the keys to prevention.
out eaves, troughs and gutters.
- Remove old tires or drill
holes in those used in playgrounds to drain.
- Turn over or
remove empty plastic pots.
- Pick up all beverage containers
- Check tarps on boats or other equipment that may
- Pump out bilges on boats.
- Replace water
in birdbaths and pet or other animal feeding dishes at least
once a week.
- Change water in plant trays, including
hanging plants, at least once a week.
- Remove vegetation or
obstructions in drainage ditches that prevent the flow of
For further information, please contact your local county
health department or visit
The Florida Emergency Information Line: 1-800-342-3557.
Public Information Emergency Support Function: 850-921-0384.
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