Photo of Barrie office building
print header

Public Service Announcement

What to do if you have experienced a flood

May 02, 2019
SIMCOE MUSKOKA – If you are experiencing or have experienced recent spring flooding, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has advice that can help protect the health of you and your family.

SIMCOE MUSKOKA – If you are experiencing or have experienced recent spring flooding, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has advice that can help protect the health of you and your family.

A power outage after a flood can mean that some foods may be unsafe to eat. A refrigerator will keep foods cool for four to six hours without power. Throw out any food that has been above 4 C (40 F) for more than two hours, including:

  • fish, poultry and meats, including cold cuts
  • eggs, milk and cheese and other dairy products
  • soups, stews, casseroles
  • any food that may have come in contact with meat juices.

If your chest freezer is full and remains closed, food inside should stay safely frozen for up to 48 hours after a power failure. If your freezer is half full, food inside should stay safely frozen for 24 hours after a power failure.

Any food that has thawed should be thrown out. If in doubt - throw it out.

Those on private wells or surface water impacted by the flood, are reminded that they should continue to use an alternative water source until you confirm your water is safe for use. After flood waters recede, all residents with private water supplies should:

  • assess their wells/surface water intake to check for flood waters and damage
  • flush the well of any floodwater 
  • disinfect the well and  internal plumbing
  • change any treatment filters
  • check any water system treatment devices to ensure they are working properly 
  • sample your water at least twice a few weeks apart to ensure it is safe for consumption.

Do not use flooded appliances, electrical outlets, switch boxes or fuse breaker panels until they have been checked by your local authority.

It’s also important to clean up as soon as possible. Floodwater can be contaminated with sewage, chemicals or other hazards that can make people ill. Items that have come into contact with floodwater need to be handled carefully. Flood damaged areas can grow mould if they are not cleaned properly.

As well:

  • operators of food establishments that have been closed as a result of flooding should contact the health unit for information prior to reopening
  • a complete list of sample bottle pick up and drop off locations is available on the SMDHU website

More information on what to do after a flood can be found at www.smdhu.org, or by calling Health Connection at 721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

-30-


Did you find what you were looking for today?
What did you like about this page?
How can we improve this page?
Page
Feedback

If you have any questions or concerns that require a response, please contact Health Connection directly.

Thanks for your feedback.
Failed to submit comment. Please try submitting again or contact us at the Health Unit.
Comment already submitted ...