Handling the aftermath
Food and water safety are crucial when moving back into homes after severe storm damage. Power has been out for an extended period of time; dirt and moisture will have found their way inside.
Disposing of spoiled food
Perishable food items will have spoiled in homes that were without power following the tornado and must be thrown out. Perishables include:
- 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.
The fridge and freezer may be cold now because power has been restored—but that doesn’t mean the food is safe! Double-bag foods when packing for the garbage.
Clean your kitchen countertops and dining surfaces with detergent and water, and rinse, repeating if necessary. Then disinfect with a mild bleach solution—about ¾ of a teaspoon of liquid bleach to a litre (4 cups) of water. Wipe on generously, let sit for a few minutes and then wipe off.
Refer to our Cleaning Up after a Flood fact sheet to properly and safely clean your home.
Call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 for one-to-one consultation with a public health inspector. Please be aware that if all lines are busy you can leave a voice message and your call will be returned promptly.
In areas with municipal water supply, it's a good idea to turn on all the taps and let them run for two or three minutes. This will help clear out water that has stayed in the pipes for a few days.
If a private well has been flooded, it could have been contaminated. Check the fact sheet Drinking Water Safety After a Flood or Power Outage.. Until you can get your well water tested, boil your water rapidly for at least one minute before use, or use bottled water for drinking, making infant formula, juices, cooking, making ice, washing fruits and vegetables or brushing teeth. You can also disinfect small amounts of well water by adding 5 to 8 drops of household bleach to one gallon (4.5 litres) of water, stirring and letting it stand for 15 minutes. Click here for how to disinfect your well.