Flooding & Illness

The Midwest will have more rain than before and more of it will come down in short time periods. In Illinois we will see more floods, and they will be more severe than they’ve been in the past.   Besides causing property damage, floods also impact health. Mold damage to homes – which often happens after homes are flooded – can cause breathing problems. Injuries are common when people drive in floodwaters. Anybody whose home has been flooded knows that emotional stress levels can get very high. Floods can also affect our drinking water. Too much rain can overwhelm the sewage treatment facilities. At farms with livestock, flood waters can bring bacteria from the animal waste to drinking water wells. If this happens, sewage can get into the drinking water supply and cause diseases.

Ill., April 15, 2011 Photo_FEMA.gov
Photo credit: Mike Moore


You can help prepare your family for a flood by making a plan. This plan should include how you will get to a safe place, how you will contact one another, how you will get back together, what you will do in different situations, and different items to have in your house in the event of a disaster. Ready.gov can help in how to make a plan and IDPH has information on how to clean up after floods.

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Photo credit: NOAA NCDC/CICS-NC.The image shows how people can become sick from dirty water after heavy downpours and floods.