• By Dana Sparks

Hurricane safety reminders after the storm

October 10, 2018

debri-blocking-the-paved-road-after-a-heavy-rain-storm-or-hurricane

Hurricane Michael is barreling into the Florida Panhandle as a Category 4 storm, battering the coast with 145 mph winds.

It's considered to be the strongest hurricane to ever to hit that Gulf Coast area, according to The Weather Channel. Over 1 million power outages will occur — not just near the coast, but also inland after landfall.

When the storm is over, rescue and cleanup will begin, and power will be restored. Here are a few safety reminders for residents after the storm.

Watch: Mayo Clinic Minute: After-the-hurricane concerns

Journalists: Broadcast-quality video (1:00) is in the downloads at the end of the post. Please ‘Courtesy: Mayo Clinic News Network.’ Read the script.

A moment of calm, then the storm followed by new concerns for those affected by the powerful aftermath of a hurricane

Recovery after a natural disaster may take days, weeks or even months.

The early stages may mean lack of water and electricity. And, without power, refrigerated food may spoil, putting people at risk of a foodborne illness like salmonella.

And without access to clean water, Dr. Pritish Tosh, a Mayo Clinic infectious diseases specialist, says, "Bacterial risks increase for E. coliShigella, other types coliform bacteria, things that normally you would see in stool and can cause diarrheal diseases."

"In an aftermath of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, people may be tempted just to drink whatever water they get their hands on, assuming it’s safe or not knowing what the consequences could be," says Dr. Tosh.

If bottled water is not available, Dr. Tosh says one minute of a roiling boil is sufficient to kill bacteria in water.

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Mayo Clinic's Florida campus is planning for normal operations. As of Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 9 a.m. EDT, minimal effects from Hurricane Michael are expected in Jacksonville, Florida, according to the Jacksonville Emergency Operations Center.

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