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Be Safe During Flood Cleanup Efforts; Weekend Storm and Showers Possible

Contact: State Emergency Operations Center, Public Information Officer, (517) 324-2304
Agency: State Police

News Release No. 5 – August 16, 2014 – 8 p.m.

LANSING – With a chance of severe weather and showers in this weekend’s forecast, the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) encourages citizens to be safe during flood cleanup efforts.

“For the last week, Michiganders have been working tirelessly around the clock to cleanup homes, schools and businesses,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD). “We want citizens to be mindful of the possibility of severe weather and take the necessary precautions.”

The National Weather Service is forecasting a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms late Saturday into early Sunday for Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. Any heavy rainfall will be localized and brief and should not cause any flooding.

Rainfall near a quarter-inch or less will be common, with isolated higher amounts of up to a half-inch. Lightning will be a concern for those working outside.

 

Cleanup Safety Tips

Citizens are encouraged to remove flood-damaged items and clean basements safely. To stay safe when cleaning up after a flood:

  • Cleanup and prevent mold growth. Cleanup and dry out the building quickly. Open doors and windows. Use fans to dry out the building. To PREVENT mold growth, clean wet items and surfaces with detergent and water. To REMOVE mold growth, wear rubber gloves, open windows and doors and clean with a bleach solution of 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water. Throw away porous items (for example, carpet and upholstered furniture) that cannot be dried quickly.
  • Pace yourself and get support. Be alert to physical and emotional exhaustion or strain. Set priorities for cleanup tasks and pace the work. Try not to work alone. Don't get exhausted. Ask your family members, friends or professionals for support. If needed, seek professional help.
  • Prevent musculoskeletal injuries. Use teams of two or more people to move bulky objects. Avoid lifting any material that weighs more than 50 pounds (per person). Wear protective gear for cleanup work. Wear hard hats, goggles, heavy work gloves and watertight boots with steel toes and insoles (not just steel shank). Wear earplugs or protective headphones to reduce risk from equipment noise.
  • Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas produced by many types of equipment and is poisonous to breathe. Do not use a pressure washer or generator inside your home. If your carbon monoxide detector sounds, leave your home immediately and call 911. Seek prompt medical attention if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed or nauseated.

 

Call 2-1-1 for Guidance and Assistance

Residents who experienced personal property loss and need assistance should call 2-1-1, which can assist with looking into possible resources available from nonprofit and government organizations.  Based on the type of assistance and services needed, 2-1-1 operators can help citizens acquire items such as food and water, clothes, medication, cleaning supplies and volunteer assistance.  Staffed by trained specialists, 2-1-1 is a free community referral service available 24 hours a day with multilingual capabilities.

 

About the Disaster

Gov. Rick Snyder declared a "state of disaster" on August 13 for Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. By declaring a "state of disaster," the state of Michigan will make available all state resources in cooperation with local response and recovery efforts in the disaster area as outlined in the Michigan Emergency Management Plan. Snyder's declaration authorizes the MSP/EMHSD to coordinate state efforts.

The public is encouraged to monitor local media for up-to-date weather reports and emergency information.  For updated information and additional safety tips, follow the MSP/EMHSD on Twitter at @MichEMHS or go to www.michigan.gov/miflood.

The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) is the emergency operations center for the state of Michigan. Located in Lansing, the SEOC is overseen by the MSP/EMHSD and coordinates response and recovery efforts by state agencies and local government.  The SEOC is staffed by members of state agencies for decision making and information coordination during disasters or emergencies in the state of Michigan.