Flood safety

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Missouri state agencies offered tips and warnings Wednesday on propane safety and contact with floodwaters to keep residents safe as flooding continues throughout the southern part of the state.

Floodwater

Because floodwaters can come into contact with sewage or other contaminants, the Missouri Department of Health is recommending the following steps:

* Obtain a tetanus booster shot if it has been more than 10 years since the last booster.

* Wear rubber gloves while working in or around floodwaters.

* Wear a mask if you have allergies or chronic lung conditions.

* Wash hands and exposed skin frequently.

* Disinfect or discard clothing or supplies used in floodwaters immediately after use.

* Wash contaminated clothing separately.

* Disinfect any item that comes into contact with floodwaters.

Propane

More than 20 propane tanks across the state were swept up in floodwaters during the rains that soaked southern Missouri over a two-day period, including tanks that were secured by Missouri Department of Natural Resources Environmental Emergency Response and local fire units in Bollinger County. To prevent a runaway tank that can cause a fire when the fuel line ruptures:

* Attach the tank to a large concrete slab heavy enough to withstand the force of floodwaters, or;

* Secure the tank to ground anchors with straps running over the tank.

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