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Tag Archive | "Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division"

Be safe during flood cleanup efforts 


This photo shows flooding behind the fire station and library last week from Cedar Creek. Post photos by J. Reed.

What a difference a week makes. This photo shows how it looks this week after the water receded. Post photos by J. Reed.

With many residents in southern Michigan beginning to recover after last week’s heavy rain and snow melt caused widespread flooding, the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) is encouraging Michiganders to be safe during cleanup efforts. 

 “As the flood waters recede and Michigan residents begin to clean their homes, schools and businesses, we want everyone to take steps to ensure they stay safe,” 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 everyone to be mindful of the dangers involved with water damage and take the necessary precautions.” 

While the Cedar Springs area did not receive the same level of flooding as people near the Grand River, these tips still apply to those who may have had flooding in their basements. 

Cleanup Safety Tips 

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

*Prevent mold growth. Clean 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 one cup of bleach in one 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 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. 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 residents 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. 

For more information about what to do before, during and after flooding, go to www.michigan.gov/miready or follow the MSP/EMHSD on Twitter at @MichEMHS. 

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Use caution when driving in flooded areas 


As Isabella and Midland counties continue to manage flood conditions due to heavy rainfall last Thursday and Friday, the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) would like to remind citizens to drive safely and adhere to all road closures due to flooded roads.

Flooding is one of Michigan’s most common hazards. According to the National Weather Service, more than half of flood-related fatalities involved driving. Flooding can weaken roads or cause them to wash out entirely, making driving through flooded areas dangerous.

“Flooding can cause serious hazards when driving,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. “The safest option is to drive only on main roads and to stay off roads that are closed or barricaded. Driving through water-covered roads is never worth the risk.”

It is difficult to judge the depth of flood waters and only takes six inches of water to reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control and possible stalling. Remember: Turn around, don’t drown when encountering a flooded road.

Other tips to stay safe while driving include:

  • Be especially cautious driving at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
  • Do not take shortcuts, stick to main roads and designated evacuation routes.
  • Remember that it takes only two feet of rushing water to carry away most vehicles. This includes pickups and SUVs.
  • Keep an emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle that includes food, water, a flashlight, a first-aid kit, emergency contact numbers and a help sign.
  • Avoid areas that are likely to flood, including dips, low spots and floodplains; always heed flood warnings and instructions from emergency officials.

For additional flood safety tips, visit www.michigan.gov/miready.

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