Following big storms like Hurricane Florence, emergency departments see an uptick in people who have injuries related to cleaning up. Dr. Michael Boniface, a Mayo Clinic emergency medicine physician, has some important reminders about staying safe while rebuilding.
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When the winds and rains of a hurricane finally end, a new danger emerges:
"… injuries related to storm cleanup and exploration after the storm," says Dr. Boniface.
He says chainsaw wounds are among the injuries that spike after a storm. Skin lacerations and punctures are also common during cleanup, as are injuries caused by falls.
Dr. Boniface says you can protect yourself during storm recovery by dressing appropriately.
"This includes long-sleeve shirts, thick leather work gloves if you’re going to be working and picking up and cleaning debris," he explains.
Dr. Boniface says to protect your feet with rugged closed-toe shoes. Wear a mask in areas where dust or mold may be present, and spray on insect repellent...
"...because you are going to be exposed to a lot of mosquitoes and other insects that are going to be equally displaced by the storm," says Dr. Boniface.
Finally, to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, only run generators outside in well-ventilated areas.