Caring for your health needs during flash floods

Flood health managementCC: Fotoblend at Pixabay

Flash floods that hit without warning can have devastating effects on many areas of your life. When one month’s worth of rain hit Fairfax on July 8th, many residents found themselves battling an emergency.

Although flash floods aren’t a regular occurrence, they’re also not rare to the point you can afford to ignore them. Aside from property damage, they also have an ill effect on your health. By preparing in advance of the next disaster, you can offset some of the medical challenges you face.

Stock up on bottled water and hand sanitizer

In extreme cases, flash floods may result in a loss of water supply and the spread of communicable diseases. Although this is more likely to happen during hurricanes than in the July 8th onslaught, Mother Nature is too unpredictable to ignore the risk.

Having a supply of bottled water on hand is the best way to keep your family safe during brief periods of tap water loss. You can also use it for hydrating until you reach a shelter. Consider adding hand sanitizer to the mix too, as a reduction in clean running water also leads to poor hand hygiene.

Buy DEET for battling mosquitoes

If there’s one environment mosquitoes love to flock to, it’s standing water. When you experience flash floods during the summer, a combination of standing murky water and the heat will have the mosquitoes swarming in their droves.

Although there isn’t much you can do to make them go away, you can protect your skin. One clinically proven way to prevent mosquitoes from biting you is to use DEET. Most mosquitoes in Fairfax County don’t carry serious diseases. However, there’s an average of three cases of West Nile Virus per year in the area and standing areas of stagnant water make them more likely to occur.

If you own a HVAC system, turning it on and cooling the room will keep the mosquitoes away too. As the types that bite tend to come out at night, using air conditioning is a dependable way to protect yourself as you sleep.

Find ways to reduce stress in the aftermath

There’s no denying that a flash flood is more stressful for some people than others. If local flooding prevents you from reaching work, making it to appointments, and inflicts damage to your home, your mental health could take a hit too.

To prevent stress from taking its toll in the aftermath of a flash flood, try to identify what you would find stressful and introduce measures to stop the stress from arising. If you’re aware of any mental health conditions that could deteriorate, make sure you have an appropriate supply of medications handy and find someone who’s willing to talk through your anxieties with you.

Until the next flash flood occurs, give yourself some time to prepare. With any luck, Fairfax won’t experience one anytime soon.


About the Author

Laura McKeever
Laura has been a freelance medical writer for eight years. With a BSc in Medical Sciences and an MSc in Physician Assistant Studies, she complements her passion for medical news with real-life experiences. Laura’s most significant experience included writing for international pharmaceutical brands, including GSK.