NEW YORK, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- New York City health officials issued guidelines and practical advice to those impacted by flooding and power outages in the wake of Hurricane Irene.
The health department says when floods soak floors, walls, rugs and personal belongings, it is important to clean and dry affected items as quickly as possible to prevent mold growth.
If flood waters contain sewage, it is important to disinfect contaminated items and avoid contact with the sewage while clean them, the health department says.
Health officials also advise to:
-- Wash and dry all clothing and other washable items, using detergent and water.
-- Clean floors, furniture and other surfaces with detergent and water.
However, if the flood waters contain sewage:
-- Remove visible contamination with detergent and water from surfaces.
-- Disinfect by wiping surface with a bleach solution. Use a half cup of household bleach in a gallon of water. Non-bleach sanitizers can also be used, but never mix bleach with ammonia or detergents containing ammonia products, since dangerous gases may be created. Bleach may also damage some materials.
-- Keep children, pets and people with compromised immune systems away until the area has been cleaned and disinfected.
-- Wash your hands, body and clothing with soap and water after cleanup.