Be Ready and Prepared If Flooding Occurs

Take these important steps to reduce the harm caused by flooding.flood-safety_456px

Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than any other hazard related to thunderstorms. The most common flood deaths occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. Fortunately, you can take steps to protect yourself, your family, and your home.

During a Flood Watch or Warning:

  • Gather emergency supplies.
  • Listen to your local radio or television station for updates.
  • Have immunization records handy (or know the year of your last tetanus shot).Store immunization records in a waterproof container.
  • Fill bathtubs, sinks, gallon jars, and plastic soda bottles so that you will have a supply of clean water.Sanitize sinks/tubs first by cleaning them using bleach. Then rinse and fill with clean water.
  • Bring in outdoor possessions (lawn furniture, grills, trash cans) or tie them down securely.
  • If evacuation appears necessary: turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve.
  • Leave areas subject to flooding: low spots, canyons, washes, etc.
  • After you return home, if you find that your home was flooded, practice safe cleaning

After Flooding Has Occurred:

  • Do not drink flood water, or use it to wash dishes, brush teeth, or wash/prepare food.
  • Drink clean, safe water.
  • If you evacuated: return to your home only after local authorities have said it is safe to do so.
  • Listen to water advisory from local authorities to find out if your water is safe for drinking and bathing.During a water advisory, use only bottled, boiled, or treated water for drinking, cooking, etc.
  • Avoid driving through flooded areas and standing water. As little as six inches of water can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
  • When in doubt, throw it out! Throw away any food and bottled water that comes/may have come into contact with flood water.
  • Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Use generators at least 20 feet from any doors or windows.
  • The initial damage caused by a flood is not the only risk. Standing flood waters can also spread infectious diseases, bring chemical hazards, and cause injuries.

After you return home, if you find that your home was flooded, practice safe cleaning. Remove and throw out drywall and insulation that was contaminated with flood water or sewage. Throw out items that cannot be washed and cleaned with bleach: mattresses, pillows, carpeting, carpet padding, and stuffed toys.

Use household laundry bleach to clean dirt and mold off of items like floors, stoves, sinks, countertops, plates, and tools.

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Rabies Awareness and Prevention

usa map rabiesOver the last 100 years, rabies in the United States has changed dramatically. More than 90% of all animal cases reported annually to the Centers for Disease Control now occur in wildlife; before 1960 the majority were in domestic animals. The principal rabies hosts today are wild carnivores and bats. From 1989 through 2010, over 6,000 New Jersey animals were confirmed to have rabies.

In New Jersey, the rabies virus is established in the raccoon population resulting in an average of about 280 cases a year. Raccoons account for 77% of the animals tested and diagnosed, skunks 14%, cats 4%, foxes 2% and groundhogs 2%.

Rabies is caused by a virus in the saliva of rabid animals. It is transmitted by the bite of an infected animal. The virus causes inflammation of the brain and is almost always fatal once symptoms develop. Fortunately, there is a rabies post exposure prevention vaccine which has very few serious side effects.

Any wild animal showing signs of unusual behavior should be reported to the local police department, or if in a County park, the Morris County Park Police Department.

While in parks and outdoors, do not allow your dog to roam freely or unattended as this increases the likelihood of interaction between your pet and wildlife which may carry rabies.

Immediately report a bite from a wild or domestic animal to your local health department. Seek medical attention if you have exposure or suffer an injury from a wild animal. Seek veterinary care if your pet has any exposure or suffers an injury from a wild animal.

If you are injured, seek immediate medical attention. If you can, thoroughly wash the bite with soap and water.

Do not feed or handle wildlife at any time. do not leave food out where it may attract wildlife.

Make sure your pet has an up-to-date rabies vaccination. For a list of municipal rabies clinics visit: