Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.
ALERT: Generator exhaust is toxic.
Put generators outside or carefully vent the exhaust outside because the exhaust contains dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide (CO), a poisonous gas.
It is extremely important, in the immediate aftermath of a hurricane and also when cleanup begins, to do whatever is possible to protect your and your family's health. Be certain about food and drinking water safety and availability. Use appropriate protections during cleanup of flooded or contaminated areas.
- New Orleans Needs Assessment
- Drinking water and food
- Flooding and mold
- West Nile virus
- Coordinated federal health information
- Gulf States, Feds Report on Seafood: Dec 9
- Environmental Assessment Summary for Areas of Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard, and Plaquemines Parishes Flooded as a Result of Hurricane Katrina: Dec 6
- Potential environmental health hazards when returning to homes and businesses: Sep 14
- Precautions in areas exposed to contaminated flood water: Sep 6
- Caution urged dealing with debris and entering damaged buildings: Sep 6
- EPA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) formed a joint task force to advise local and state officials of the potential health and environmental risks associated with returning to the City of New Orleans. The initial Environmental Health Needs & Habitability Assessment was issued September 17, 2005.
- Boiling water
information To kill all major water-borne bacterial pathogens,
bring water to a rolling boil for 1 minute. Boil 3 minutes at
elevations above 5280 ft (1 mile or 1.6 km). Getting
and disinfecting water (fema.gov)
- Make sure older adults have enough water
to drink. Dehydration can be life threatening to an elderly
person. More info...
to do about water from household wells after a flood . Do not
turn on the pump - danger of electric shock. Do not drink or wash with
water from the flooded well.
General info about household wells.
food safe during flooding and power outages. Don't test the
safety of possibly spoiled food by tasting it! (usda.gov)
- Flood cleanup: dealing with mold: The key to mold control is moisture control. After the flood, remove standing water and dry indoor areas. Remove and discard anything that has been wet for more than 24-48 hours.
- Safely cleaning a flood-damaged home from cdc.gov and Repair your flooded home from redcross.org
- Mold cleanup in schools and commercial buildings. information for building managers, custodians, and others who are responsible for commercial building and school maintenance.
- General - Mold, moisture, and your home
- Protect yourself and family members from mosquito bites, which can carry West Nile virus. Use a mosquito repellent to reduce bites. Drain even small amounts of standing water from outdoor objects such as old tires, rain gutters, empty flower pots, or other objects. More info...