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- Be careful when you enter properties after floods. Floods leave behind many hazards.
- Check with local emergency services whether you can safely return home.
Risks from contaminated floodwaters and flood debris
- Avoid contact with floodwaters.
- Floodwater and debris may contain waste, sewage and other hazards.
- Dirty water, mud and silt from floods can contain germs that can cause illnesses, including gastro and skin infections.
- Wash any part of your body exposed to floodwater, mud or silt.
- Wear protective clothing, footwear and equipment if you are cleaning up in flood-affected areas.
- Damaged building materials may contain asbestos. If you suspect this, get advice from your Council before proceeding.
- Stay out of recreational water sites for at least three days after heavy rain – or for longer after floods.
- If you’ve been in contact with floodwaters, wash your hands and change dirty clothing before preparing or eating food.
- Throw out any food that’s been in floodwater unless it was secure in a waterproof tin or bottle.
- Throw out perishable refrigerated food if the power has been off for more than a day.
- If frozen food thaws, either cook it immediately and eat it or store it safely, or throw it out.
- If you’re not sure if food is safe, throw it out.
Boil Water Alerts
- If your drinking water is subject to a ‘Boil Water Alert’ and you can’t boil water because of a power failure, then don’t drink the water. Use a different source like bottled water.
- If you can boil your water, consider boiling and storing enough to last through a power outage.
- If your drinking water is not subject to a ‘Boil Water Alert’ but you notice it is unusually discoloured, boil it before drinking.
- TasWater provides information on all current boil water alerts, including maps, at www.taswater.com.au
- If you get a cut or scratch while in a flood-affected area, clean it, cover it, and protect it from further contamination.
- Get medical attention if an injury is severe or painful or red and swollen, or if you develop a fever.
- Keep your tetanus immunisation up-to-date.
General Safety Messages
- Be Community Wise, Pet Wise, Water Wise
- Keep clear of floodwaters, drains and culverts.
- Don’t drive, walk, swim or cycle through floodwaters.
- Mud makes roads, paths and floors slippery – take extra care to avoid falls.
- Be prepared for power cuts.
- Don’t use fuel-powered equipment like generators or pumps in enclosed spaces.
- Don’t use flooded gas or electrical appliances until they’ve been checked for safety.
- Stay away from beaches during large swells and high winds.
- Beware of damaged trees.
- Keep clear of fallen power lines and nearby water.
- Check on family and neighbours, and supervise children closely.
- Ensure your drains and gutters are free of debris and running freely before severe weather.
- Drive to the conditions. Don’t drive in the wet unless you need to.
- Listen to ABC local radio or check www.ses.tas.gov.au for updates.
- For road closures check www.police.tas.gov.au/community-alerts
Tasmanian Government emergency information on floods is at TasALERT www.tasalert.com
For flood and emergency help contact SES on 132 500.