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Extension Expert Gives Advice on Safety

Perryville families returning to their flooded homes should exercise caution before and during the cleanup process, according to a University of Missouri Extension emergency management expert.

“There are several dangers that people need to keep in mind when dealing with any structure that has been flooded,” said Frank Wideman, community emergency management specialist. “Before you even enter the building, make sure it looks structurally sound,” he said. “Next, make sure that the electricity is off to avoid the risk of electrocution, and that the gas has been shut off.”

Because flood waters contain contaminants and debris, people need to take health precautions, he said. MU Extension has a free step-by-step guide to cleaning flood-damaged homes. The publication covers electrical systems, repairing walls, cleaning furniture, flooring and floor coverings, bedding, kitchen items, and controlling mold and mildew. The guide also includes financial advice, including filing insurance claims, avoiding fraud and hiring a contractor.

Copies of “Resources for Your Flooded Home” are available at MU Extension offices, disaster recovery centers and online.

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Posted on Apr 29, 2011.

Flooded road

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