Public Service Announcements about Emergencies and Disasters
ALWAYS CALL 911 if you are in immediate danger and need emergency help.
These PSA files are for use by the media, schools, or anyone else and may be freely broadcast. PSAs on this page are in MP3 format which is compatible with most audio players. Download a free media player to listen to MP3 files.
Children and Flood Water (:28 secs, 445kb, MP3)
TRANSCRIPT: Children are at greater risk than adults from contaminants carried by flood water. Since they dehydrate faster, they need to drink plenty of fluids. If the safety of your water is in question, either use bottled water or bring tap water to a rolling boil for at least one minute...and let it cool before use. You should also keep children away from mud and make sure they don't play with anything that may have become polluted by flood water or sludge. From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
TRANSCRIPT: Septic systems can be damaged by flooding. After a flood, have the system professionally inspected and serviced. If the system is obstructed, pump it as soon as possible. Remember: whenever the water table is high or your septic system is threatened by flooding, sewage can back up into your home. The only way to prevent it is to use the system less and make sure the tank is watertight. From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
TRANSCRIPT: Homes built before 1978 are likely to contain lead-based paint, which may flake after being soaked by flood water. Lead is a toxic metal that causes many negative health effects, especially in children. Disturbing materials containing lead-based paint may release lead dust into the air. If you suspect that debris in your home is contaminated with such paint, seek help from public health authorities or specially trained contractors. From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
TRANSCRIPT: The use of protective clothing and equipment is essential when cleaning up after a flood. Contaminated water and sludge may contain harmful organisms, chemicals, and heavy metals. Gloves are essential. So are goggles that don't contain air holes. Dust kicked up from sweeping and other activities can release contaminants into the air. Protect yourself from dust by using an N-95 respirator, about six dollars at many hardware stores. From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
TRANSCRIPT: Mold is a serious problem in flooded areas. The key to controlling mold growth is by controlling moisture — and doing it quickly. If you have a mold problem at home, wash it off hard surfaces with detergent and water, and dry completely. Be sure to get rid of the excess water or moisture. Fix leaky plumbing or other sources of water. You may have to replace absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles & carpet that become moldy. From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
TRANSCRIPT: The sediment left behind by receding flood water often contains a wide variety of pollutants. They can include fuel oils, gasoline, human and animal waste, metals, and other material. Health officials caution against contact with sediment, if possible. If you do come in contact with it, wash any exposed skin with soap and water...and change into clean clothing. From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
TRANSCRIPT: Older buildings may contain asbestos and lead. Pipe or other insulation, ceiling tiles, exterior siding, roof shingles, and sprayed-on sound-proofing may contain asbestos. Disturbing materials containing lead-based paint may release lead dust into the air. If your home contains asbestos or lead-based paint and any of these materials have been damaged or will be disturbed during cleanup, talk to public health authorities. From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Carbon Monoxide (CO)
TRANSCRIPT: Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be fatal. Don't use anything indoors that burns fuel, such as gasoline-powered generators, camp stoves and lanterns, or charcoal grills. Opening doors and windows or using fans isn't enough. Have your vents and chimneys checked to make sure water heater and gas furnace exhausts aren't blocked. If you feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air right away. From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
TRANSCRIPT: Flood cleanup involves cleaners, disinfectants, and pesticides...used carefully. Mixing household cleaners and disinfectants -- such as bleach and ammonia -- can produce dangerous, toxic fumes. Open windows and doors. Don't stay in a room longer than necessary, and allow plenty of time to air out the room. If it's safe to use electricity, use fans to keep the air circulating. From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Fuel and Explosive Vapors
TRANSCRIPT: Fuel lines are often broken during heavy storms and flooding, and highly explosive vapors may still be present in many buildings. Plus, explosive gases such as methane may accumulate from decaying materials. Open all windows when you enter a building. If you smell gas or hear gas escaping, don't smoke, light matches, operate electrical switches, or use telephones — including cell phones. Leave immediately. From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
TRANSCRIPT: Returning to flood-damaged homes and buildings? Be alert for leaking containers and household chemicals, such as caustic drain cleaners and chlorine bleach. Keep children and pets away from leaking or spilled chemicals. Don't combine chemicals to avoid dangerous or violent reactions. Don't dump chemicals down storm sewers, drains, or toilets. Mark and set aside unbroken containers until they can be properly disposed of. From U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Polluted Flood Water
TRANSCRIPT: Dealing with polluted flood water creates important challenges. Here's what to do. Remove standing water quickly. Discard wet, absorbent materials that can't be thoroughly cleaned and dried. When fumes aren't a problem and if electricity is available and safe, remove moisture by closing windows and running a dehumidifier or window air conditioner. Limit your contact with flood water. Don't even breathe mist from flood water. From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Drinking Water Wells
TRANSCRIPT: Flood water can contaminate private wells. No public agency monitors the water quality inside these wells. That's the responsibility of the owner. Don't use water from a flooded well for any purpose until you've talked with proper health authorities. Don't turn on the pump and don't flush the well. Have the water tested to make sure it's safe. Just because it looks and smells safe, doesn't mean it actually is. From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.