The American Red Cross is on the scene in central Iowa where flooding has destroyed homes, caused power outages, and left several towns without water. It is the third time in the past few months that the Red Cross has responded to flooding in the area.
The Red Cross has shelters open, offering a safe place to stay, and emergency response vehicles are providing food throughout the area. Red Cross mental health workers are offering emotional support to residents affected by the high waters, and clean-up items are being distributed in areas where people have had to leave their homes due to the flooding.
Meanwhile, most of the central and southern parts of the country are under a heat advisory as the summer’s blistering heat wave continues. If you are in an area affected by the extreme heat, there are precautions listed on our web site .
As people return to their homes in the flood affected areas, the Red Cross offers the following tips:
- Return home only when officials have declared the area safe.
- Before entering your home, look outside for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks or other damage.
- Parts of your home may be collapsed or damaged. Approach entrances carefully. See if porch roofs and overhangs have all their supports.
- If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department.
- If power lines are down outside your home, do not step in puddles or standing water.
- Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater.
As flooding clean-up gets underway, residents should remember these safety tips:
- Materials such as cleaning products, paint, batteries, contaminated fuel and damaged fuel containers are hazardous. Check with local authorities for assistance with disposal to avoid risk.
- During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.
- Make sure your food and water are safe. Discard items that have come in contact with floodwater, including canned goods, water bottles, plastic utensils and baby bottle nipples. When in doubt, throw it out!
- Do not use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or make baby formula.
- Contact your local or state public health department for specific recommendations for boiling or treating water in your area after a disaster as water may be contaminated.
For more information on how to be prepare for heat or other emergencies, continue to explore www.redcross.org.