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UW Extension Offers Resources for Staying Safe Before, During, After Flooding

May 19, 2016

Resources to help prepare for flooding and its aftermath are available from University of Wyoming Extension.

Experts say what people do before, during and after flooding can make a difference in health, safety and recovery.

The following offer resources to help residents weather flooding events in 2016:

-- Extension Disaster Education Network (UW Extension site).

-- Before, During and After the Flood (North Dakota State University Extension site).

-- Prepare and Respond to Impending Floods (eXtension site).

-- Recover from a Flood (eXtension site).

-- Guide to Post-disaster Restoration for a Safe and Healthy Home (Department of Housing and Urban Development site).

-- Recovering from Natural Disasters (UW Extension site).

-- Agriculture-related Post-flooding Resources (Extension Disaster Education Network site).

Among guidelines the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers those working in flooded areas are:

-- Do not walk through flowing or standing water.

-- Do not drive through a flooded area.

-- Seek immediate first-aid treatment or medical evaluation for any injuries or illnesses.

-- Get immunizations or be sure they are current, e.g., tetanus.

-- Wash hands often, using hand sanitizer or soap and clean water.

-- Keep safe, potable water on hand for drinking and washing. Consider all water unsafe until the public water supply is officially declared safe.

-- Use insect repellent and sunscreen.

-- Wear watertight, slip-resistant boots with steel toe and insole (not just steel shank).

FEMA warns of dangers from slippery and unstable surfaces; sharp or jagged debris; electrical hazards and chemical exposures; and contact with airborne micro-organisms and microbial growth (bacteria and fungi) and animal remains.

People living and working in flooded areas also are susceptible to heat stress, fatigue, exhaustion and the psychological toll of fear, loss, destruction and disruption.

June 2015 flash floods in Niobrara County tore out trees; damaged or destroyed buildings, roads and railroad tracks; and caused the collapse of the U.S. Highway 85 overpass in Lusk. Approximately 100 head of livestock were lost, and 200 miles of fence were destroyed. Area ranchers reported debris in trees up to 60 feet above Muddy Creek.

For more information to help prepare for and mitigate flooding issues, contact your local UW Extension office. Offices and contact information are at www.uwyo.edu/uwe/county.

Fremont County experienced recent flooding from rainfall. Rising temperatures and snowmelt may cause another event.

For flooding resources in Fremont County, contact the Lander extension office at (307) 332-2363 or amalcolm@uwyo.edu; the Riverton office at (307) 857-3654 or amalcolm@uwyo.edu; or the Wind River Indian Reservation office at (307) 332-2135 or rbowers@uwyo.edu.


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Chad Baldwin

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