skip to content

It's a New Day in Public Health.

The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

skip to content

Safety Tips for After the Storm

October 13, 2016

Safety Tips for After the Storm 

The danger of a storm does not end when it passes. As residents of Indian River County who have been affected by Hurricane Matthew clean up their yards and repair their homes, the Florida Department of Health in Indian River County suggests taking the following safety precautions to prevent personal injury:

  • If possible, work in pairs or groups.
  • Wear goggles, heavy gloves, and steel-toed boots.
  • Avoid lifting more than 50 pounds of debris. Two or more people should move bulky objects.
  • Only experienced people should use chain saws and specialized equipment. When using chain saws or other heavy equipment, wear earplugs.
  • Never handle a downed power line.
  • Never bring gasoline-powered pumps, generators or pressure washers indoors as they release carbon monoxide – a deadly, colorless, odorless gas.

Tetanus Vaccines for Individuals who Suffer Wounds

Tetanus, commonly called lockjaw, is a serious disease that causes painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body. Tetanus bacteria are usually found in soil, dust, and manure. The bacteria enter the body through breaks in the skin, usually cuts or puncture wounds caused by contaminated objects.

  • Immediately clean all open wounds and cuts with soap and clean water. Cuts beyond minor scratches may require medical attention.
  • If you sustain a minor clean wound and have not had a tetanus vaccination within the past 10 years, you will need a tetanus-diphtheria or tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (Td or Tdap) booster.
  • If you have a serious, puncture-type, or dirty wound, then you should receive a Td or Tdap booster within five years of your last vaccination.

For further information, please contact the Florida Department of Health in Indian River at 772-794-7400 or visit or

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit