Epidemiology Week 32

After a Hurricane

Food Safety

  • If your power is out, keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to keep in the cool air.
  • Put a block of ice in your refrigerator if you expect the power will be out for more than 4 hours. It will keep food cool longer.
    • Get rid of food if it:
      • Is in a can that’s open, damaged, or bulging.
      • Has a strange smell, color, or texture.
      • Needs to be refrigerated but has been warmer than 40°F (degrees Fahrenheit) for 2 hours or longer. Foods that need to be kept cold include meat, eggs, fish, poultry, and leftovers. If you have cans of food that came in contact with floodwater or storm water, you need to clean them off to make sure they’re safe to use. To get germs off the outside of the cans:
        • Remove the labels.
        • Dip the cans in a mix of 5 gallons of water and 1 cup of household bleach.
        • Label the cans with a permanent marker so you know what’s inside.

 

Water Safety

  • Ask local officials or listen to the news to find out whether you can drink tap water or use it for washing. If it’s not safe, use bottled water if you can. If you don’t have bottled water, there are some things you can do to kill germs in dirty water and make it safe to drink. For example:
    • Bring water to a rolling boil for 1 minute.
    • Use household bleach. Add 1/8 teaspoon of new, unscented liquid bleach to 1 gallon of water. Stir well. Let the water sit for 30 minutes before you drink it.

 

Download Weekly Bulletin EW 32 complete PDF