Ocean County Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little, Liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health, urges Ocean County residents: Practice safety and follow local instructions after a storm or weather event. The Ocean County Health Department will continue to update its website at www.ochd.orgwith any pertinent information regarding the upcoming weather event.
Daniel Regenye, Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) Public Health Coordinator, is advising people in Ocean County to continue to practice safety measures in the aftermath of the upcoming coastal event. “Individual safety is priority number one,” says Freeholder Little, “Following public health guidance and taking safety precautions can help protect you and your family from possible hazards.”
Regenye added, “Beware of flooded roads. Almost half of all deaths related to floods occur in vehicles. Two feet of water can float most vehicles, and if water is moving rapidly, a vehicle can be swept off a roadway or bridge. Follow these guidelines:
· When you come to a flooded roadway, turn around. Do notattempt to cross the road. Neverdrive through flooded roadways or around barriers.
· Do not drive into a flooded underpass where floodwaters can be up to five or six feet.
· Avoid driving at night, because flooded roads are difficult to see.
Freeholder Little added, “If you have been evacuated, you should wait until the authorities declare the area safe to return. If you find when you return that your home has been flooded take precautions to ensure that you and your family are safe from the after effects of the flood and the damage it may leave behind. Make sure you:
· Use flashlights, not lanterns, matches or candles, when you re-enter buildings.
· Watch out for broken utility lines or downed power lines and report them to authorities.
Use chain saws safely – wear protective equipment and follow manufacturer’s instructions. If you are inexperienced in using chain saws, it is best to call upon a chain sawoperator who has training and experience in chain saw safety.
Continue to listen for safety instructions from local authorities.
Regenye continued, “Listen for water reports from local authorities to find out if your water is safe for drinking and bathing. Follow local instructions and take precautions to be sure your food and water are safe. The Ocean County Health Department website offers a comprehensive list of food and water safety tips during power outages and flooding.
· If an advisory has been issued concerning contaminated water, use only bottled, boiled, or treated water for drinking, cooking, food preparation, and hand washing.
· Throw away any food and bottled water that may have come in contact with flood or storm water.
· If the power is out longer than two hours, throw away food that has a temperature higher than 40°F.
“Use portable generators safely. If you have lost power, be aware that improper placement of generators can lead to CO poisoning.”
· Generators, grills, camp stoves, and other gasoline or charcoal-burning devices produce deadly CO gases.
· Pressure washers and other gasoline-powered tools also give off high levels of CO and should be used outdoors.
· Always use these devices outdoors, at least 20 ft from windows, doors and vents as there is a danger that carbon monoxide can enter through nearby open windows.
· Clear any leaves, grass, brush or other combustible debris as the generator’s engine gets extremely hot during operation which could result in a fire.
For more information about staying safe and healthy after a disaster or storm, visit the Ocean County Health Department website at www.ochd.org