Thursday, March 6, 1997
Play it safe when
returning to muddy home

As the flood water recedes, here are tips for those returning to their homes:

Keep a battery-operated radio handy to hear emergency updates.

People involved in flood cleanup do not need any special shots. Tetanus shots are needed only for people who suffer injuries. Other vaccines, for typhoid fever or hepatitis, are useless for flood workers because they take weeks to provide immunity, health officials said.

Wear boots and gloves.

Check the house, roof and chimney for structural damage.

Stay away from fallen or damaged electrical wires - they could still be live.

If you see sparks, broken or frayed wires or smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker.

Check for injured or trapped people. Give first aid where appropriate.

Remember neighbors who may require special assistance - infants, elderly people or those with disabilities.

Use the phone only for life-threatening emergencies until service is fully restored.

Do not use food or medicine touched by flood water. Discard food, including canned goods.

Check gas supply. If you smell gas or hear a hissing sound, open a window and quickly leave the building.

If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using the toilets and call a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company. (Cincinnati Water Works number: 591-7700)

Normally quiet and friendly pets may become aggressive or defensive.

Clean up spilled medicine, bleach, gasoline or other flammable liquid.

If you have flood insurance, call your agent. Take pictures of damage. Keep records of repair and cleaning costs.

Throw out soft and porous items that might have absorbed flood water - wooden utensils and cutting boards, baby bottle nipples and pacifiers.

During cleanup, use germ-fighting soaps and avoid touching eyes, mouth or open cuts with anything that has come in contact with flood water.

Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Make a disinfectant by adding one-half cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water.

Take care before sending children to play on playgrounds, ballfields and recreational equipment touched by flood water.

''A lot of this water has the potential to have some types of diseases and bacteria in it,'' said Dave Fortner, environmental director for the Northern Kentucky Independent District Health Department.

''If the play area's been submerged, the water could have come from two miles up the river, and it could have sewage water, gasoline, anything in it.''

Keep children away if water is still standing or if equipment is dirty or wet.

Wait until the area has dried to allow children to play.

If possible, clean swings, climbing equipment, benches and other items with germ-killing cleansers or bleach solutions.

Clean the area of glass, metal and other debris.

Getting your mail

The U.S. Postal Service has announced plans for mail delivery or pickup in communities affected by the water.

Residents and business owners can go to these sites if delivery is impossible:

Ohio

New Richmond: The post office will be at New Richmond High School on Bethel-New Richmond Road.

Moscow: The post office will be at the Washington Township Municipal Building on Ohio 756.

Neville: Box mail and retail operations available at Postmaster Janet Blackburn's home, 356 Neville Penn Schoolhouse Road.

Chilo: Box mail and retail operations available at Felicity High School, 415 Washington St. in Felicity.

Ripley: The post office will be at Ripley-Union High School, off U.S. 52.

Manchester: The post office will be at Manchester High School, 309 E. Ninth St.

Unreachable areas have included all or parts of the following communities: Newtown, East End, California and downtown Cincinnati addresses below Third Street. Residents and business owners in these areas can call for their mail at local offices.

Kentucky

Sanders: Box mail and retail operations available at the Sparta office at Ky. 35 and Ky. 465.

Kenton and DeMossville: Mail available at the Morning View post office, 15000 Decoursey Pike.

Berry: Post office reopened.

Cynthiana: Post office reopened.

Butler and Falmouth: Mail available at the Alexandria post office, 6933 Alexandria Pike.

Milford: Post office reopened.

California: Post office has relocated for the second time to the parking lot of Mentor Church on Ky. 8, about two miles from the A.J. Jolly School.

Falmouth: Mail pickup from mobile unit at Pendleton County High School. Undeliverable mail will be available at 6933 Alexandria Pike office.

Indiana

Delivery will be intermittent in parts of Aurora, Lawrenceburg, Patriot and Vevay.

FLOOD STORIES
FLOOD PHOTOS