3 Flood Safety Tips for First Responders
You volunteered as a first responder in Sunny Isles, FL, because you believe in giving back to your community. If you are responding to a flood event in your community, there are a few safety tips that you should keep in mind so that you can help as many people as possible.
When responding to an emergency, you may have a required uniform. Additionally, be sure to choose eye protection, face masks, gloves, and boots that will keep you safe from chemicals and other dangers that may be present in floodwaters. Always change your clothes before getting into a vehicle, as whatever contaminants that are on your clothes will leech into the fabric covers of that vehicle. If possible, shower and clean your clothing before you go home to minimize the spread of any potential dangers.
In the United States, the CDC requires a tetanus shot and a hepatitis B vaccine series if you work as a first responder. They also list other possible immunizations, but as long as you work domestically, they shouldn't be necessary. If you plan to be part of an international flood response team, find out what immunizations are required and recommended so that you can get them before you go.
When you're responding to a flood at a residence, be aware of potential hazards such as mold and mildew, chemicals, and electricity that could make your job more difficult. Know the limits of your training. If all people are safe and you're helping to clean and restore a home, know the number of a local water damage mitigation company that can help with assessing the extent of the damage at the residence so that you know if you can safely proceed with cleanup.
As a first responder in your town, it is important to keep your own health and safety at the forefront of your mind so that you can continue to help with all of the flood mitigation efforts.