Village of Plainfield Offers Tips for Flood Cleanup, Safety

The health department also offers answers about tetanus vaccinations and flooding.

Submitted by the Village of Plainfield:

The village is currently making arrangements for a special refuse pickup next week to assist residents with disposing of materials destroyed by the flooding. 

In the meantime, the following information has been provided by the village Building Department and the Will County Health Department to assist you in cleaning up after the flood. 

Cleaning Flooded Areas

The village Building Department recommends the following when cleaning up flooded areas in your home:

  • Be sure to circulate air as much as possible using fans.
  • Remove all wet items including carpet.
  • Run dehumidifiers.
  • Keep your furnace fan running.

The Will County Health Department suggests the following when cleaning a flooded basement::

  • Clean basement surfaces with a non-sudsing household cleaner and then rinse it as you go along. A good disinfectant may also be used to retard the growth of mold and mildew. A mix of two ounces of liquid chlorine bleach combined with a gallon of water makes an effective disinfectant for most basement surfaces.
  • Frequent and thorough hand washing is always recommended. Alcohol-based sanitizers should be used if you believe your water supply has been contaminated.

More information from the Will County Health Department is available online at willcountyhealth.org.

Tetanus vaccination and flooding

The Will County Health Department is anxious to clarify questions about the need for tetanus immunization in the wake of recent flooding. 

According to the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), infectious disease outbreaks after a flood are rare in the U.S. and mass immunization efforts after a flood emergency are not routinely recommended. In general, exposure to flood water alone is not a reason to give tetanus-containing vaccine, or any other vaccine.

The need for a tetanus shot after exposure to flood water depends on the presence of a wound, the condition of the wound, and the immunization status of the injured person. The recommendations for use of tetanus-containing vaccine that apply during a flood are the same as those that apply at any other time.

Persons with severe wounds (including puncture wounds) should be evaluated immediately by a healthcare provider. Those with puncture wounds, or wounds that may be contaminated with soil or fecal material should receive tetanus-containing vaccine if more than five years have elapsed since their last tetanus booster. 

Persons who sustain clean, minor wounds should receive a tetanus vaccine if more than 10 years have elapsed since their last tetanus booster. All persons should receive a tetanus booster every 10 years. 

Persons who believe they may have need for a tetanus shot should consult their physician or a healthcare provider. Immunization services are available at the Will County Health Department in Joliet Monday through Friday. 

For more information about immunization services provided by the Health Department, visit www.willcountyhealth.org, or telephone 815-740-8143 during regular weekly business hours.


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