What comes next is important for the entire country. Hurricane season comes with an overall feeling of panic, but knowing the basics is a crucial part of how life moves on after the “the storm.”
Dangers and Health Risks
Reservoirs have been uncontrollably spilling over levees, which makes water safety a major concern. Many Texas locals have taken great heed at the Texas Department of State Health Services warning about the purity of the states drinking water. Although, local officials have reported that the drinking water in Houston is safe. However, there have been “boiled water” notices throughout the district.
There are reports of Texas merchants selling cases of bottled water for upwards of $100. This is because floodwater may be contaminated with pathogenic Escherichia Coli (E. Coli), which can cause serious illness. Coming into contact with these bacteria can cause severe stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and fever.
Be smart about you water choices. Boiling your water is the best “better safe than sorry” option. Being sick on its own is no fun, but more than 20 hospitals in the state have been evacuated or temporarily closed. Without proper medical attention, being sick can quickly turn into something deadly. Be wise about your storage water decisions.
Food Safety and Preparation
A typical refrigerator can keep a cool temperature for around 4 hours (not a very long time, right?), a freezer will start to lose its chill around 48 hours. So, what you’re looking at in a crisis situation is a kitchen full of inedible food. If you find yourself facing this conundrum, stay away from eggs, meat, poultry, fish or any dairy products. These delicious items, once in an environment above 40 degrees for 2 hours, will not be safe for consumption.
How to combat this problem?
Food storage is a thing for a reason. Freeze dried and canned goods have a shelf life that will most definitely out live your refrigerator when there is no access to electricity. What’s even more awesome… these products have been fine tuned and are actually incredibly delicious. Scrumptious soups, fruit, pasta primavera, mango habanero chili… all things you can enjoy before, during, and after hurricane season “blows” over.
Recovering After a Hurricane
Limit any contact with flood water. Keep in mind that raw sewage and other hazardous substances could be floating around in there. Remove and discard anything that has been wet for more than 24 hours. This will help you avoid mold, which can cause serious health problems.
Disasters will cause a lot of debris, including building rubble, soil, shrubbery, etc… Do not bury or burn these things without a state-granted waiver. The side effects of smoke and fire or soil contamination can cause even bigger problems.
Most of all… help those around you, let those around you help you, and know that things will get better, go back to normal, and be ok.