My YKHealth

Flood Preparedness

Every spring, water from rivers, lakes and streams becomes abundant as the ice and snow melt when we transition to warmer weather. Sometimes, we have to deal with flooding that puts our lives, our communities and our homes in danger.

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation would like provide you with important information and checklists to ensure that you are prepared for flooding as well as equally important information about what to do after the waters recede and we can return home.

Emergency supplies – what supplies should I keep ready in my home in case of a flood and evacuation?

  • Clean containers filled with water for several days.
  • Three-to-five-day supply of non-perishable foods.
  • First aid kit and any needed prescription medicines.
  • Battery powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries.
  • Sleeping bags or extra blankets.
  • Supplies for a baby like diapers, baby wipes, formula.
  • Extra clothing.
  • Personal hygiene supplies as well as cleaning supplies for home like dish soap and sponges.
  • Bleach for disinfection of water and home surfaces.
  • Make sure that cell phones are fully charged and you have portable chargers.
  • All important documents like birth certificates, social security cards, IDs, insurance paperwork, etc.

What can we do to prepare for a flood?

  • Unplug all electrical appliances at risk of getting wet and move them to a high place.
  • All valuables or home items at risk should be moved to higher ground.
  • If possible, carpets should be removed from the floor.
  • Stock extra heating fuel and move your firewood to higher ground or anchor them.
  • Review your insurance policy, and consider adding flood coverage.

After a flood

Why does flood water compromise our health?

  • Flood waters contain countless fecal bacteria from honey bucket waste, sewage, lagoons and animal droppings.
  • Floodwater carries loose trash and waste oils that may have harmful chemicals.
  • Coming in contact with flood waters can put you at risk for illness.

What can we do to avoid exposure to things that can make us sick?

  • Do not use contaminated water to clean or do dishes.
  • Check with your water plant operator to see if the community water source is safe to use.
  • If community water source is contaminated, be sure to treat it as follows:
    • Disinfect water by bringing it to a full boil for 2 minutes
    • If water is clear, an eighth of a teaspoon of household bleach can be added for every gallon of water being treated
    • In cloudy water, a quarter teaspoon for each gallon should be added. Let the mixture stand for a half hour before use.
  • In a flooded home, all electrical and oil or propane tanks should be shut off to avoid the risk of fire.
  • All down powerlines should be avoided.
  • Appliances should not be used until all components are dried completely.
  • Discard or thoroughly wash food items that have been in contact with flood waters.
  • Hands should be washed with disinfected water after anytime one comes in contact with
  • flood waters.
  • If you have a personal well that is covered in flood water, do not use the well! Contact the YKHC Office of Environmental Health (OEH) at 907-543-6420 for well disinfection instructions.
  • If you come in contact with flood waters (especially in an open wound), see the local health aide to find out if you need a tetanus booster.
  • Do not allow children near the flood water!

How do I clean my home after a flood?

  • Start with drying everything out. Remove wet items from the home until they are dry, and dry all surfaces in the home.
  • Wall and hard surfaces can be cleaned with dish soap and disinfected with a mixture of 1 cup of bleach for every 5 gallons of water.
  • Wash all linens, stuffed animals, pillows etc. in hot water and use a mechanical dryer on the high heat setting if possible. If an item cannot be washed, air dry it in the sun and spray it thoroughly with a disinfectant.
  • All plastic toys should be disinfected with a bleach solution.

If you have any questions, please contact the YKHC Office of Environmental Health (OEH) at 907-543-6420.