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The original item was published from 6/3/2019 10:18:00 AM to 6/5/2019 12:00:05 AM.

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Posted on: May 29, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Follow health and safety tips during storm cleanup


For those beginning to clean up debris on your property from Tuesday’s tornado, here are some health and safety tips to follow:

· Dress appropriately. Wear thick soled shoes, long pants and work gloves.

· Before you begin any debris clean up on your property, consider the last time you had a tetanus booster. If it has been more than 10 years since your last tetanus shot, get a booster. Also, during clean up if you suffer a puncture wound of any kind, it is encouraged that you get a booster. The Health Department's clinic, 200 Maine St., does have tetanus booster vaccine available. You can call the clinic office 785-843-0721 or schedule an appointment via the LDCHD Checkin-In App online.

Tetanus is a bacterial disease that produces a poison in the body. The poison can cause seizures, lock jaw and difficulty breathing. It can often take several months to fully recover.


For those who rely on well water, remember to check your well. If your well has sustained damage as a result of the tornado or is affected by flooding, do not drink from it until is has been tested or shocked.

Do not drink contaminated water.

Do not use contaminated water to wash dishes, brush teeth, mix formula, or make ice.

The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department can provide well testing for those with wells affected by last night’s tornado or flooding. The Health Department will waive well testing fees for anyone who has well damage from last night’s storms. However, there is a limited supply of well testing kits. Call the Health Department at 785-843-3060 to speak with the Environmental Health program. Results available in approximately 24 hours. 

Other labs in the area can test wells for water safety as well. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment offers this list of accredited labs:


If you are without power and using a generator, the generator should be outside — not in the house or the garage — and located away from windows to avoid potential carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that can be fatal. Stay safe!

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