Long Island, New York
Steven Bellone, County Executive
Good basic personal hygiene and handwashing are critical to help prevent the spread of illness and disease. Clean, safe running water is essential for proper hygiene and handwashing.
Hygiene is especially important in an emergency such as a flood, hurricane, or earthquake, but finding clean, safe running water can sometimes be difficult. The following information will help to ensure good hygiene and handwashing in the event of an emergency.
Keeping hands clean during an emergency helps prevent the spread of germs. If your tap water is not safe to use, wash your hands with soap and water that has been boiled or disinfected . Follow these steps to make sure you wash your hands properly:
A temporary hand washing station can be created by using a large water jug that contains clean water (for example, boiled or disinfected).
Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of germs on them. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs.
Hand sanitizers are not effective when hands are visibly dirty.
Wash hands with soap and clean, running water (if available):
Other Hand Hygiene Resources
Do not use contaminated water to wash dishes, brush your teeth, wash and prepare food, or make ice.
Bathing after a water-related emergency should only be done with clean, safe water. Listen to local authorities for further instructions. Sometimes water that is not safe to drink can be used for bathing.
Keeping wounds clean and covered is crucial during an emergency. If you have open cuts or sores, keep them as clean as possible by washing well with soap and clean, safe water to control infection. If a wound develops redness, swelling, or drainage, seek immediate medical attention.
When providing first aid for a wound, clean hands can help prevent infection (see Handwashing on this page). Visit Emergency Wound Care After a Natural Disaster to find complete information on caring for wounds.
Healthcare professionals should visit Emergency Wound Management for Healthcare Professionals and Management of Vibrio vulnificus Wound Infections After a Disaster.
Joseph F. Williams
John G. Jordan Sr.
Director of the Office of Emergency Management
PO BOX 127
The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) coordinates the county's response to natural or man made disasters. OEM personnel are responsible for the operations of the county's Emergency Operation Center (EOC) and work with local, state, and federal officials in shelter management, planning, resource management, and radiological response coordination.
Phone: (631) 852-4900
Fax: (631) 852-4922
© Suffolk County Government, 2015