Flooding – Health Advice
The Health Protection Agency has a set of Health Advice Leaflets for the public covering topics such as clean up following a flood, coping without mains water and the impact on mental health. Flooding presents a number of risks to health, the biggest is drowning and serious injury by falling into fast flowing water or from hidden dangers under the water, such as missing manhole covers. Infections from contaminated floodwaters in the UK are rare as harmful microbes usually become very diluted.
Another serious risk is carbon monoxide poisoning from generators used indoors to dry out buildings. The stress and strain of being flooded and cleaning up can have a notable impact on mental health and well-being. There are, however, a number of precautions that can be taken as detailed in the HPA, EA and FSA guidance.
The link to the HPA website and other advice from the Environment Agency and the Food Standards Agency is located on RIAMS in the Public Health module under National Policy and Guidance (search terms: flooding)