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Safety advice for floods affected areas and information as clean-up begins

Sunday, 02 April 2017 11:03:38 AM

Police and emergency services are urging people in flood-affected areas to ensure safety is maintained throughout the flood crisis and as the clean-up begins as some flood waters begin to recede.

The ongoing message for those in flood affected areas is to put safety first. Do not put your own life, the lives of loves ones, or the lives of emergency service workers in danger.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Kyle Stewart said while it’s not over yet, some areas are starting the process of recovery and that generally begins with cleaning up.

“There are still parts of the state affected by flood waters and our message remains the same – heed warnings from emergency services agencies, abide by evacuations orders and always put safety first.

“Floodwater is extremely dangerous as it can have fast moving undercurrents that can wash people and vehicles away. Everyone should always remember to never drive, ride or walk through floodwater.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Stewart said as the clean-up effort begins in some areas we face a range of new challenges and safety issues.

“As some areas are starting to see flood waters recede the clean-up effort will begin. The affects of the clean up can be just as dangerous as the floods themselves and we are appealing to the communities impacted by the floods to take all precautions and listen to advice of the emergency service agencies,” he said.

Please check on your family and neighbours and share this information with anyone who does not currently have access to technology.

Household Fire Safety for flood recovery:

Members of the public in flood affected areas need to take care around their houses, properties and businesses when they start the clean up process. Some key issues residents should observe are;

* If you have lost household power and are using candles or portable light or heating sources, never leave them unattended and ensure they are kept well away from all flammable material.

* Always extinguish candles or any other open flame before going to bed.

* Don’t use BBQs LPG fuelled heating devices indoors. They give off poisonous Carbon Monoxide.

* If you have lost household power, turn off all appliances at the power points as they may be affected by a power surge when the power resumes.

* Any electrical appliances which may have been in contact with water must be inspected by a qualified electrician before use to ensure they can be operated safely.

* If drying clothing, keep wet clothing at least one metre from heaters or fireplaces and never leave them unattended. If you use a clothes dryer make sure you clean the lint filter each and every time you use it.

* If you have a garage or shed, remember to take extra care with any stored chemicals and fuels. Handle with extreme caution and use the recommended protective equipment: gloves, safety goggles, etc.

* If you are concerned about stored chemicals, contact your local Fire Station for advice.

In the event of fire, leave the house and call 000 (triple zero) and ask for Fire.

Health advice for flood clean-up:

Floodwaters contaminated with sewage may carry a range of viruses and parasites. Experience from past floods shows that the greatest risk of infection is bacteria picked up through cuts and abrasions.

The most effective way of preventing infection is:

* Thorough hand washing after contact with flood contaminated materials;

* Wearing gloves; and

* Avoiding contact between cuts or abrasions and flood water or contaminated materials.

People should contact their GP if they are concerned about their health. As a precaution, people should treat all floodwater as potentially contaminated with sewage.

Keep children away from flood affected areas and avoid all unnecessary contact with mud and floodwaters.

Ensure feet are covered if they are likely to come into contact with mud and always wear gloves when handling flood affected items or mud.

Children's toys affected by floodwater should be discarded if they are soft toys or moulded plastic toys with air injection holes. Solid toys should be disinfected before allowing children to play with them

Resident should always wash their hands thoroughly with soap and clean water, or with an alcohol gel:

* After handling flood-affected items;

* When participating in flood clean-up activities;

* Immediately after going to the toilet; and

* Always before handling or eating food.

Members of the public can also visit www.emergency.nsw.gov.au for a range of flood-related information. For all other emergencies, the public are advised to contact Triple Zero.

For the latest on road closures members of the community can visit the website www.livetraffic.comor contact their local councils.

Members of the public in flood affected areas should continue to listen to local radio stations, or check the websites listed below.

Members of the public seeking emergency assistance during a flood or storm should call the NSW State Emergency Service on 132 500, or visit their website www.ses.nsw.gov.au

For weather warnings check www.bom.gov.au

Members of the public can also visit www.emergency.nsw.gov.au for a range of flood-related information. For all other emergencies, the public are advised to contact Triple Zero.