Disaster Relief Effort
Tornado Cleanup Fact Sheet
SAFETY PRECAUTIONS FOR TORNADO DAMAGED AREAS
Protective Gear/Safety Recommendations
- Keep children away from the torna do damaged areas.
- Wear sturdy clothing to protect against sharp objects . (heavy -duty boots, long pants, long-sleeved shirts or jackets.)
- Wear leather gloves when handling debris, and waterproof gloves if liquid cleanups are necessary.
- When entering damaged portions of structures, wear hard hats.
- For eye-protection, wear goggles or glasses with side shields.
- Have a first-aid kit handy. Clean any wounds thoroughly.
- Before entering the tornado-damaged area, it is a good idea to check with your family doctor to see if you need a
tetanus booster shot.
- Damaged buildings contain dust and debris from items such as drywall, insulation, and carpet fibers. These items can cause breathing difficulties. Wear appropriate respirators (N 95 rated).
- Do not attempt to move chemicals that are leaking, smoldering, bubbling, or have an odor. Flag the area for assessment and removal by trained and properly equipped professionals.
- Drywall, carpeting, insulation and other porous building components that have been wet for more than 24 hours will likely not be salvageable. These items should be removed, as mold growth will be likely which can cause serious respiratory problems in many individuals.
Food and Water Safety Recommendations
- Consider all water from wells, cisterns and other delivery systems in the disaster area as unsafe until tested , or until authorities tell you otherwise. Use bottled water for drinking or food preparation.
- Foods that do not require refrigeration may be salvaged if they are in undamaged cans or plastic containers. Foods that require refrigeration need to be discarded if they have been out of refrigeration more than 2 hours . If items in a refrigerator appear moldy or have an unusual odor, it is best to discard all items.
- Frozen foods that have thawed but are still cold (below 41 degrees F) can be immediately cooked and eaten, or be cooked and refrozen. A full freezer may keep foods cold for 2 days if the door is kept tightly closed. However, when in doubt, throw it out.
- Remember carbon monoxide hazards. Use generators, camp stoves, and barbecue grills outdoors only.
- Open burning is not allowed without a permit.
Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department
Bruce D. Dart, MS, Health Director
3140 N Street, Lincoln, NE 68510
402-441-8000; Fax: 402-441-8323