The past week’s heavy rain and floods have wreaked havoc on many Johnson County homes and businesses. The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) offers the following tips to prevent injury and illness during cleanup and how to manage and remove the debris and trash left behind.
- Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles during cleanup of an affected area.
- Get a tetanus shot (Td or Tdap) if you haven’t had one in the last 10 years or can’t remember the last time you got one. You can get one at most doctors’ offices, pharmacies, urgent care clinics and at the Department of Health and Environment’s two walk-in clinics in Olathe (11875 S. Sunset Drive) and Mission (6000 Lamar Ave.).
- Flood waters can displace animals, insects and reptiles. Be alert and avoid contact.
- Wash clothing and all hard surfaces with hot water and detergent. Discard items that cannot be washed and disinfected (such as, mattresses, carpeting and carpet padding, rugs, upholstered furniture, cosmetics, pillows, baby toys, stuffed animals, foam-rubber items, books, wall coverings and most paper products).
- Excessive moisture and standing water can contribute to the growth of mold. Be sure to properly dry out ceilings, walls and floors.
- Cover open wounds with a waterproof bandage to avoid infection. Keep open wounds as clean as possible by washing with soap and water. Seek immediate medical attention if a wound develops redness, swelling or drainage.
James Joerke, JCDHE deputy director, advises residents and business owners to contact their local city or trash company to find out how much trash and debris can be placed at the curb and if any large item collections are being planned.
“Always ask about fees for these type of additional pick-ups,” says Joerke. “If you have a large quantity of trash, you may need to rent a dumpster and pay to have it hauled to a landfill.”
Items that are not accepted at the curb, such as paint, cleaners, household chemicals and fluorescent light bulbs, may be brought to the Johnson County Household Hazardous Waste site for disposal. Make an appointment to drop off for these items, as well as non-working appliances and electronics: https://jocogov.org/dept/health-and-environment/environment/hazardous-materials/accepted-items
Safety after a Flood: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/floods/after.html
Mold after a Disaster: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/mold and https://www.epa.gov/mold/floods-and-mold-growth