3 Ways To Protect Yourself as a Flood First Responder
First Responders To a Flood: Three Ways To Safeguard Yourself
With historic flooding occurring across the United States in the past few years, the role of the first responder has become more essential than ever before. As one of the first to arrive on scene at disaster sites in Santa Ynez, CA, your help as a specially trained responder can often mean the difference between life and death for those trapped by floodwaters. In order to help others, it is important for you to take precautions to protect yourself before you even reach the disaster scene. Here are three ways to shield yourself in those challenging initial responder situations.
1. Update Vaccinations
Before heading out to a flood response disaster, make sure you are up to date on your immunizations. Tetanus shots are required every 10 years and usually contain diphtheria and pertussis protection. Another protective vaccine that is often required is Hepatitis B.
2. Beware of Possible Hazards
Depending on how long the floodwaters have been on the ground and what category of water you are working in, there are some hazards you may face as a first responder. Wearing an N-95 mask can help protect you from mold that can begin growing in flooded areas in as soon as 24 hours. Also, be careful of chemicals, sinkholes, and disaster-related sharp objects.
3. Protect Yourself
As an initial responder, wearing protective clothing can help guard you from chemicals, fecal matter, and other pollutants in the floodwaters. The clothing should include boots, gloves, eye goggles, and an approved outer protective suit.
Whether the flood is of epic proportions or the result of a broken levy that floods a handful of homes, your role as a first responder can be a heroic one. If you have questions about how best to protect yourself or about the different categories of floodwaters you may be called to work in, contact a water and mold remediation specialist for information to help protect yourself.