While our lovely University of Charleston School of Pharmacy campus remained undamaged during these historic floods, we cannot say the same for our neighboring friends, family, and loved ones. Many have lost everything, including their lives. There have been numerous efforts, not only from West Virginia, but from all over the U.S. to aid flood victims with clean up, donation supply, and moral support through these difficult times. For these, we are grateful. In this article, I’m hoping to offer you some educational tools to help you become familiar with preparing for the storm and how to handle life after it has passed.
Here are some resources for Before and After the Flood:
- The CDC has a step-by-step guide to ensure adequate preparedness. Find it here.
- This resource includes: Steps to prepare for the storm, what to do if you’re under a flood watch or warning, a list of emergency supplies, and steps on what to do if you’re preparing to evacuate or have been ordered to do so.
- The American Red Cross® Flood App – The American Red Cross® offers
many emergency preparedness apps, but one in particular is the Flood app. This app allows you to monitor your area and any other areas in which you may have loved ones. They also let you link your loved ones to that area via your contact list. The app also includes steps you can follow to make sure you’re prepared for any upcoming flood and what to do after.
- FEMA has provided a free, in-depth guide for care after flooding. Find it here.
- This includes: Getting back to your home safely, Drying out your home after a flood, Cleaning mold, mildew and bacteria, and much more.
Health protection after a flood:
- Tetanus shot – According to the CDC, you do not need a tetanus shot if you were exposed to flood waters or if you will be working to help clean up. However, if you are due for your tetanus shot (adults need a booster every 10 years) it would be best to get one. The infection is caused by C. tetani, the bacterium that causes tetanus, infecting a puncture wound (metal nail piercing the foot, animal or human
- Cuts, scrapes, and wounds – First aid is very important, even if the wound is minor. Wash with soap and clean water.
- Ear protection – If you’re in an area in which loud machinery is being used, protective equipment should be worn.
- Chemical Hazards – Due to everything being engulfed by water, it is important to realize the potential chemicals that could be lurking. Cars that have been left behind could have leaking engines or even remaining electrical current. It’s important to leave the removal of any potentially dangerous items to the professionals.
As our fellow West Virginians continue to recuperate from all the loss and devastation, I hope these resources find you well. I also hope that you are able to take away some helpful information that could save your life or even the life of another. An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure. United we stand with the Mountain State, we are West Virginia strong, and we will come back stronger and better than before. Take care of each other.
Contributed by, Shelby Pethtel, Class of 2017