Health and Safety Tips:
Avoid contact with potentially contaminated flood waters. Many contaminants such as raw sewage, as well as potential releases of chemicals from homes, businesses, and industry, may be contained in floodwaters. The department encourages people to stay out of the water as much as possible. If people must be in contact with floodwaters, they should wash frequently with warm water and soap. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission reports many oil and gas locations have been affected by the flood. The department is working with the commission, local authorities and operators to assess risks and, where necessary, provide environmental response and remediation.
Safe drinking water/”boil advisories”
City of Longmont water is safe to drink. If you are not a City of Longmont water customer you may need to comply with boil advisories.
Widespread outbreaks of infectious disease after floods are not common in the United States. However, people with three or more days of diarrhea, any bloody diarrhea, diarrhea plus a fever, or other health concerns, should contact their health care provider. Although no specific vaccinations are recommended for flood events, the department recommends people keep their vaccinations up to date. By staying up to date with vaccinations, everyone is better prepared for emergencies. People should follow routine recommendations for tetanus. A tetanus-diphtheria (Td) booster is recommended for all adults every 10 years. A tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (Tdap) booster should replace one regular Td dose to provide pertussis protection. Children should have completed their recommended diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTaP) doses of four shots between 2 months and 18 months of age, and booster shots at 4 to 6 years of age and 11 to 12 years of age. Any adult who has not had the primary series of Td doses should complete the series.
Boulder Office of Emergency Management has the following information for Boulder County residents.
Exposure to flood waters alone does not increase the risk of tetanus. However, during flood clean up, the risk of wounds may be increased. For this reason, clean up workers should be sure that they are up to date with tetanus vaccination, ideally before starting clean up activities. Adults need a tetanus booster shot every 10 years.
Residents involved in clean up activities should contact their regular healthcare provider to arrange for a tetanus booster, if needed. Residents who do not have a healthcare provider may receive the vaccination at a Boulder County Public Health Immunization clinic. The cost is $21.50.