• Happy Thanksgiving from the North Georgia Health District! Our district offices in Dalton will be closed Thanksgiving Day and Friday, November 23 and 24. All our Public Health Departments and services in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties will also be closed both days. Best wishes from us to you for a healthy and safe holiday!

DPH Urges Safety Precautions After Irma

GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH

NEWS RELEASE 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sept. 12, 2017​​          

Contact; Nancy Nydam​, nancy.nydam@dph.ga.gov

DPH Urges Safety Precautions After Irma

Keep Yourself and Your Loved Ones Safe By Following Basic Safety Tips

ATLANTA – Hurricane/tropical storm Irma is no longer a threat but recovering from the storm will take weeks, and even longer in some parts of the state. The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is urging Georgians to use extreme caution particularly in the next few days as residents return to their homes, power is restored and damage assessments are made. The storm may be over, but that doesn’t mean the danger is.

Be careful near damaged buildings 

• Do not return to your home until you are told it is safe to do so.
• Return during daylight hours, when it is easier to avoid hazards, particularly if the electricity is off.
• Do not enter your home if you are unsure of structural integrity.
• Leave immediately if you hear shifting or unusual noises.
• If you smell gas or suspect a leak, notify emergency authorities or the gas company immediately and leave the area.

Stay away from power lines 

• Stay clear of fallen power lines - be particularly careful of power lines that may be hidden in fallen trees and branches.
• Watch out for power lines dangling overhead.
• Report downed power lines to emergency authorities or the power company immediately.

Avoid floodwater

• Always follow warnings about flooded roads.
• Don’t drive through floodwater – it may be deeper than you think.
• Keep in mind that floodwater often carries germs. If you touch it, be sure to wash your hands with soap and water. If you don’t have soap or water, use alcohol-based wipes or sanitizer.

Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

• Never use a generator inside your home or garage, even if doors and windows are open. 
• Only use generators outside, more than 20 feet away from your home, doors andwindows. 
• Install battery-operated or battery backup CO detectors near every sleeping area in your home. 

Identify and throw away food that may not be safe to eat

• When in doubt, throw it out.
• Throw away food that has an unusual odor, color or texture. 
• Throw away perishable foods (including meat, poultry, fish, eggs and leftovers) in your refrigerator when the power has been off for four hours or more.
• Thawed food that contains ice crystals can be refrozen or cooked. Freezers, if left unopened and full, will keep food safe for 48 hours (24 hours if half full).
• Throw away canned foods that are bulging, opened or damaged.

Check water quality

• Listen and follow all drinking water advisories and use bottled water when in doubt.
• Do not drink water from private wells that have/may have been flooded.
• Disinfect all private wells that may have been flooded before drinking water.

Protect yourself from animals and pests

• Floods can bring mosquitoes that carry disease - use insect repellent with DEET or PicaridinIR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus. Follow label directions.
• Wear long sleeves, pants and socks when you’re outside.
• Stay away from wild or stray animals after a storm - call 911 or your local public health department to report them.

Prevent mold

• Protect yourself by wearing gloves, masks and goggles. 
• Remove and discard items that cannot be washed and disinfected (such as mattresses, carpeting, carpet padding, rugs, upholstered furniture, cosmetics, stuffed animals, baby toys, pillows, foam-rubber items, books, wall coverings and paper products)within 24-48 hours.
• Remove and discard drywall and insulation that has been contaminated with sewage or floodwaters within 24-48 hours.
• Ventilate by opening all doors and windows.
• Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces (such as flooring, concrete, molding, wood and metal furniture, countertops, appliances, sinks and other plumbing fixtures) with hot water and laundry or dish detergent.

For more information go to:

https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/hurricane_irma.html

https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/refridg_food.html

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-05/documents/epa816f05021.pdf

https://www.cdc.gov/mold/images/mold_infographic.jpg

http://www.gema.ga.gov/Pages/default.aspx

https://dph.georgia.gov/

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About the Georgia Department of Public Health 

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is the lead agency in preventing disease, injury and disability; promoting health and well-being; and preparing for and responding to disasters from a health perspective. For more information visit: www.dph.georgia.gov 

AVOID CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING DURING EMERGENCIES

Safety Tips from the CDC

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death if inhaled. When power outages occur during emergencies such as hurricanes or winter storms, the use of alternative sources of fuel or electricity for heating, cooling, or cooking can cause CO to build up in a home, garage, or camper and to poison the people and animals inside.

 

Every year, more than 400 people die in the U. S. from accidental CO poisoning.


Exposure to CO can cause loss of consciousness and death. The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. People who are sleeping or who have been drinking alcohol can die from CO poisoning before ever having symptoms.

 

Important CO Poisoning Prevention Tips

 

  • Never use a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine inside your home, basement, or garage or less than 20 feet from any window, door, or vent.

  • Never use a gas range or oven to heat a home.

  • Never leave the motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage.

  • Never run a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine inside a basement, garage, or other enclosed structure, even if the doors or windows are open, unless the equipment is professionally installed and vented. Keep vents and flues free of debris, especially if winds are high. Flying debris can block ventilation lines.

  • Never use a charcoal grill, hibachi, lantern, or portable camping stove inside a home, tent, or camper.

  • If conditions are too hot or too cold, seek shelter with friends or at a community shelter.

  • If CO poisoning is suspected, move to outside air, call 911 or your local Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 or consult a health care professional right away.

 

Businesses can help ensure your customers’ safety by placing important information about protecting oneself from CO poisoning in the direct vicinity of generators they are selling.

POWER OUTAGES AND ELECTRICAL DANGERS

Safety Tips from the CDC

 

  • NEVER touch a fallen power line.

  • Do not drive through standing water if downed power lines are in the water.

  • If you believe someone has been electrocuted, call or have someone else call 911 or emergency medical help.

  • After a hurricane, flood or other natural disaster you need to be careful to avoid electrical hazards both in your home and elsewhere.

  • Never touch a fallen power line. Call the power company to report fallen power lines.

  • Avoid contact with overhead power lines during cleanup and other activities.

  • Do not drive through standing water if downed power lines are in the water.

 

If a power line falls across your car while you are driving, stay inside the vehicle and continue to drive away from the line.

 

  • If the engine stalls, do not turn off the ignition.

  • Warn people not to touch the car or the line.

  • Call or ask someone to call the local utility company and emergency services.

  • Do not allow anyone other than emergency personnel to approach your vehicle.

    If electrical circuits and electrical equipment have gotten wet or are in or near water, turn off the power at the main breaker or fuse on the service panel.

  • Do not enter standing water to access the main power switch.

  • Call an electrician to turn it off.

    Never turn power on or off yourself or use an electric tool or appliance while standing in water.

  • Do not turn the power back on until electrical equipment has been inspected by a qualified electrician.

  • All electrical equipment and appliances must be completely dry before returning them to service.

  • Have a certified electrician check these items if there is any question.

    If you see frayed wiring or sparks when you restore power, or if there is an odor of something burning but no visible fire, you should immediately shut off the electrical system at the main circuit breaker.

    Consult your utility company about using electrical equipment, including power generators.

  • Do not connect generators to your home's electrical circuits without the approved, automatic-interrupt devices.

  • If a generator is on line when electrical service is restored, it can become a major fire hazard and it may endanger line workers helping to restore power in your area.

    If you believe someone has been electrocuted take the following steps:

  • Look first. Don't touch. The person may still be in contact with the electrical source. Touching the person may pass the current through you.

  • Call or have someone else call 911 or emergency medical help.

  • Turn off the source of electricity if possible. If not, move the source away from you and the affected person using a non-conducting object made of cardboard, plastic or wood.

  • Once the person is free of the source of electricity, check the person's breathing and pulse. If either has stopped or seems dangerously slow or shallow, begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) immediately.
  • If the person is faint or pale or shows other signs of shock, lay him or her down with the head slightly lower than the trunk of the body and the legs elevated.
  • Don't touch burns, break blisters, or remove burned clothing. Electrical shock may cause burns inside the body, so be sure the person is taken to a doctor.

Drive-by for YOUR Flu Shot in North Georgia!

DRIVE BY Flu Shot Clinics Web Social Media GraphicNorth GeorgiaGet your flu shot to go at one of six public health Drive-by Flu Shot Clinics coming soon to North Georgia. Just roll in, roll up a sleeve and arm against the flu this season while helping prepare communities for disaster! 

Since 2008, public health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties have conducted the annual Drive-by Flu Shot Clinics, serving residents safely, quickly and efficiently as they remain in their vehicles.

 

The four-in-one quadrivalent flu vaccine and the Fluzone High Dose vaccine for people sixty-five and older will be available at the clinics.

 

Quadrivalent flu vaccine protects people against four different strains of flu, including two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses.

 

The Fluzone High-Dose flu vaccine is for people 65 years of age and older because it has four times the amount of protective antigen for immune systems that tend to weaken with age.

 

The cost of the quadrivalent flu shot is $25 and the Fluzone High-Dose flu shot is $65. Cash, Medicare, Medicaid, Aetna, BlueCross BlueShield Health and United Healthcare Insurance will be accepted along with other forms of payment and insurance, depending on the county.

 

The Drive-by Flu Shot Clinics are for people ages 18 and over.

 

While arming residents against the flu at the Drive-by Flu Shot Clinics, public health staff and community partners test their plans for standing up a temporary Point of Dispensing (POD) to rapidly administer medication during a public health crisis. Participating community partners include local law enforcement, volunteers, businesses and first responders such as the county Emergency Management Agency, Emergency Medical Services and Fire Department.

 

This year, the Drive-by Flu Shot Clinics are scheduled in each county, as follows:

 

Cherokee: Tuesday, September 26th, 9 A.M. – 2 P.M., *Woodstock City Church: 150 Ridgewalk Parkway, Woodstock, GA. Call (770) 928-0133 or (770) 345-7371 for more details.

*Please note this NEW Location for the Drive-By Flu Shot Clinic in Woodstock!

 

Pickens:  Wednesday, September 27th, 8:30 A.M. – 3:30 P.M., Mt. Zion Baptist Church: 1036 North Main Street, Jasper, GA. Call (706) 253-2821 for more details.

 

Fannin: Thursday, September 28th, 9 A.M. – 3 P.M., The Farmers Market: East First Street, Blue Ridge, GA. Call (706) 632-3023 for more details.

 

Whitfield: Tuesday, October 3rd, 9 A.M. – 5 P.M., Dalton Convention Center: 2211 Dug Gap Battle Road, Dalton, GA. Call (706) 226-2621 for more details.

 

Gilmer:  Thursday, October 5th, 8 A.M. – 3 P.M., Pleasant Grove Baptist Church: 115 Pleasant Grove Road, Ellijay, GA. Call (706) 635-4363 for more details.

 

Murray: Tuesday, October 10th, 8 A.M. – 6 P.M., Murray County Parks and Recreation Department: 651 Hyden Tyler Road, Chatsworth, GA. Call (706) 695-4585 for more details.

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations. The more people who get vaccinated, the more people will be protected from flu, including older people, very young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions who are more vulnerable to serious flu complications.

 

The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccination. The most convenient way to get that vaccination in North Georgia is at the nearest public health Drive-by Flu Shot Clinic.

 

For additional details about the Drive-by Flu Shot Clinics, call the local county health department or log onto www.nghd.org. To learn more about influenza and flu protection, log onto the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/flu/.

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