Take precautions after a flood

Published 7:00 am Saturday, June 24, 2017

As Mississippi deals with the end of Tropical Storm Cindy, dangers still loom. According to the Department of Public Safety, many threats arise after floods.
Residents who live near any body of water or a fairly large ditch should be cautious of displaced wildlife, most notably snakes. The DPS states that when heavy rainfall occurs habitats are damaged, forcing animals to seek a new home. Sometimes that can be in trees, under parked vehicles and even in homes if they can gain entry.
“When you run into a snake, stay away from it,” Pearl River County Animal Control Officer Danny Joe Slade said, who is trained to identify poisonous and nonpoisonous snakes. “If the snake, or any other animal, is in the home, contact the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department.”
If bitten by a snake, Slade said the best thing to do is to apply pressure to the wound, call 911 and calmly wait for medics to arrive. Do not try to wash the wound because venom on the skin can be evaluated to determine the species of snake. Also, do not attempt to suck the venom out, cut the wound, apply a tourniquet or raise or dangle the extremity that was bitten.
“There are so many things you can do to treat a snake bite, but people either don’t know them or conduct the procedure incorrectly. The safest thing to do is get treated at the hospital,” Slade said.
Also check for gas leaks or unsafe power sources after a flood. When checking for a gas leak, do not use lanterns, torches or other forms of open flames near a gas line. If a potentially unsafe power source is found, contact a professional to fix the problem.
Lastly, Pearl River County is susceptible to mosquito infestations and after a flood. Mosquitos thrive and breed in the standing water. To avoid over population of the insects, drain all sources of standing water including old tires, cans, flowerpots and anything else that holds water. When clearing the property of standing water, the DPS suggests using insect repellent containing DEET.
In extreme cases, do not enter the house unless the breaker has been turned off to the entire residence.
General flood cleanup should commence as soon as possible, including clearing hanging tree limbs from areas of concern. Do not attempt to clear the debris alone and always watch for displaced wildlife.
“Snakes try to hide and conceal themselves after floods. When you are outside moving things, shake each item and don’t put your hands in any blind areas,” Slade said.
To get assistance, call a local fire department, Picayune Police Department or the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department.

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