Flood Or Disaster Sanitation Information
The linked information below will be of assistance to homeowners and citizens both during and after a flood or other disaster which affects private residences, water supplies, and other facilities. The following information is intended as a quick guide to frequently asked questions and concerns. Detailed information may be obtained at the local health department or the Indiana State Department of Health.
The following information should provide guidance in dealing with disaster related issues:
Flood or Disaster Sanitation Information
Flood or Disaster Sanitation Information in Spanish
This file contains: Directions for Treating Water in Small Quantities, Directions for Disinfecting Wells and Water Sources, Salvaging Flood Damaged Food in the Home, Rehabilitation of Buildings, Furnaces, Furniture, Rugs, and Clothing.
Directions for Treating Water in Small Quantities
These instructions should be followed if a safe water source is not immediately available.
Directions for Disinfecting Wells and Water Sources
This document details necessary information for the proper sanitizing of wells or other private water sources after a flood, and before the water supply is again put to use.
List of Private Labs for Well Water Testing
After a flood, it is a good idea to have your well water tested for contaminants. Individuals can have a private lab test their well water samples. The lab will analyze the sample and return the results to the collector, usually within 72 hours. The cost for this service will likely be between $25 and $30. This site provides a list of Indiana-certified Microbiology Drinking Water Labs.
Diseases Caused by Sewage or Sewage Contaminated Water
List of diseases caused by sewage or sewage contaminated water that can occur in the United States. PDF Version [29 KB]
Septic Systems - What to Do after the Flood
Questions and answers from the EPA.
Salvaging Flood Damaged Food in the Home
Information and direction relating to foods and food containers that may be safely salvaged.
Rehabilitation of Buildings, Furnaces, Furniture, Rugs, and Clothing
Information about salvaging household items and rehabilitating a home for occupancy following a disaster.
Flood Cleanup: Avoiding Indoor Air Quality Problems (EPA)
Extensive water damage after floods increases the likelihood of mold contamination in buildings. This report from CDC provides information on how to limit exposure to mold and how to identify and prevent mold-related health effects.
Water Outages at Schools
Information to assist school officials and local health departments in responding to a water outage, or the issuance of a boil water order, during the school day.
Children as Victims of Disasters
When natural disasters occur, the focus is on adults, but what about the children? This fact sheet provides hints for parents and other adults who care for children to talk with the children and to help the children cope. The information in the fact sheet could be broken down into smaller segments if only one type of exposure applies to the target group.
Sandbags are used by communities and private property owners to hold back floodwaters and prevent property and structural damage. IDEM regulates the disposal of use of sandbags. Proper sandbag disposal varies based on what has come in contact with the sandbags.
Homeowner Guidance on Cleaning Up After Residential Sanitary Sewer Backups
Flooding can release sewage waste from sanitary sewers drain and septic tanks. The release of material is a threat to public health as the waste often contains dangerous bacteria, viruses, and promotes insect growth. Cleaning up and disposing of waste is an important first step in a proper cleanup after flooding.
Additional information can be obtained by following these links:
It is recommended people in flooded areas make sure they are up-to-date on their tetanus immunizations. Tetanus vaccines are available from your primary health care provider or your local health department.
American Red Cross
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Indiana Department of Homeland Security --DHS
Federal Emergency Management Agency -- FEMA
Environmental Protection Agency -- EPA
Purdue Extension Disaster Education Network
Feel free to contact the Indiana State Department of Health or your local health department for additional information.