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According to Queensland Health, the risk of injury after a cyclone or flood is much greater than the risk of disease outbreaks.
Residents are urged to consider carefully their own safety when cleaning up after Tropical Cyclone Debbie.
“The number of injuries seen in emergency departments after Cyclone Larry in 2006 increased dramatically – especially injuries involving chainsaws and falls from roofs,” said Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox.
How to reduce your risk of injury:
• don’t try and do it too quickly, and get assistance if the job is too big• look out for snakes and spiders, which may have moved to drier ground• be careful when operating chainsaws and other vegetation-clearing equipment - wear protective clothing and keep children and pets away• do not handle wet electrical equipment• even in cloudy conditions, protect yourself from the sun, and ensure you drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
How to reduce your risk of disease:
• avoid unnecessary contact with mud and dirt • wear boots and gloves when cleaning up• clean cuts and scratches with salty water or antiseptic and apply a waterproof dressing; if the skin around cuts becomes red or sore, see your doctor • wash your hands thoroughly before eating or smoking• shower thoroughly with soap at the end of each day• clean and disinfect any household surfaces which have come into contact with floodwater• throw out any flood-damaged food.
To hear the latest up-to-date information and official advice, listen to your local radio stations and follow the Whitsunday Disaster & Emergency Facebook page here - https://www.facebook.com/WhitsundayDisasterandEmergencyInformation/
Important phone numbers:
If you have a life threatening emergency, please call 000 immediately.
If you require SES assistance, please call 132 500. The SES’s priority after the event will be providing access to residents (eg. Clearing trees from driveways etc.)
If you need to contact the Whitsunday Disaster Coordination Centre, please call 1300 972 006 and provide information as requested by the telephone operator.
Red Cross has now opened Register.Find.Reunite. and is urging people that may be affected by Cyclone Debbie to get in touch with their families and friends. Please visit www.redcross.org.au to register, or look for someone.