In case of flooding, here is some information to stay safe

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Intro:
Nigeria is a well-enriched country with two main weather seasons; dry and wet.

The dry season occurs majority of the year from the months of October to May, while the wet season occurs from June to September.

The wet season comprises of frequent rain and on occasion, a torrential downpour can cause flooding in flood-prone areas.

A plan for flood preparedness is essential to keep safe.

Just like the need to prepare for a snowstorm in countries overseas, a plan to prepare for flooding will ensure personal safety and disease prevention.

Health Impact of Floods

There are adverse effects that may occur during the flood- let’s call these immediate effects; And there are effects that occur later- let’s call these subsequent effects.

Immediate effects of flood include but is not limited to:
● Near-drowning/Drowning
● Electrocution
● Injuries from objects

● Injuries from falls
● Wounds
● Animal bites
● Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Subsequent effects of flood include but is not limited to:
● Diarrhea
● Gastrointestinal Infections

● Increased Mosquito bites
● Malaria

Explanation:

● The risk of driving through a flood includes carbon monoxide poisoning from a blocked exhaust pipe caused by rising waters.

If it is essential to drive through a flood, ensure that the vehicle windows are open. It is important to note that Vehicles can lose control in six inches of water.

● After the flood, there could be an increase in diarrhea illness, such as typhoid, cholera, and amebiasis due to lack of potable water or contamination of water source.

● An increase in mosquito breeding sites from stagnant water can cause more mosquitoes and malaria.

How to stay safe:

Before the Flood:
● Listen to your weather forecast regularly to be aware of local weather flood warnings

● Notify family, friends, and neighbours of any early flood warnings

● Prepare for flood emergencies

● Keep trash in an enclosed container

● If you live in a flood-prone area, do not keep electrical appliances like TVs on the bare floor to reduce electrocution risk

● If you have advanced warning about a flood, consider leaving to an area without a flood risk

1. Unplug all electrical appliances and turn off electricity source
2. Place valuable documents at a higher level
3. Ensure there is adequate drinking water and non-perishable foods

4. Ensure that there are adequate baby foods and diapers
5. Ensure there are adequate supply of essential medications
6. Obtain a battery-operated torchlight

During the flood:
● DO NOT try to walk, swim, or drive through a flood. Drowning can occur if this is attempted
● DO NOT walk on a flooded bridge during a flood. Drowning can occur if this is attempted.

● Do go to higher level to stay dry until flood waters recede
● Avoid touching electrical wiring if they are wet or you are standing in water, otherwise this will cause Electrocution!

After the flood:
● Wear rubber boots and gloves during clean up after the flood to avoid injuries or wounds.
● Dispose of any food items, drinks or medication that have come in contact with the flood

● Air out non-absorbent items to dry. Throw away any absorbent items like carpet, mattress, and stuffed items to prevent the growth of mold.

 

 

Written by Dr. Onuoha, with Dr. Toyin Erinle.

Copyright 2018, Health4Naija LLC. All Rights Reserved.

This site serves to provide information for Education. You should seek the attention of your Medical provider for any health matters.

 

Photo by Gaetano Cessati on Unsplash

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