There are many things residents should keep in mind regarding recent flooding.
According to Consumer Family Science Educator Peggy Davis, several home items must be looked at very closely before being used.
The following is a list of items Davis said residents should be aware of:
* Canned Food Damage
Throw out most food because floodwaters may contain a host of bacteria that may make the food unsafe or cause it to spoil. When in doubt, throw out food that may have been damaged or spoiled in the flood.
Commercially-canned foods are usually safe after being in flood waters if the metal can appears undamaged. Cans should be discarded if they are swollen/bulging at the can ends, rusty, creased or dented in the can seam/lid areas, or crushed. Undamaged cans still must be washed and sanitized before they are opened and used. For additional safety, thoroughly cook the canned food before eating it.
* To clean and
Mark the contents on lids of cans with indelible ink, and remove paper labels. Wash the cans in a strong detergent solution, using a scrub brush. Immerse the containers for 15 minutes in a solution of two teaspoons chlorine bleach and one quart of room-temperature water. Air dry all the cans.
Food from the garden is best handled with caution. It's risky to eat any of the produce so discard it for safety's sake.
* Flooded Photographs
Evaluate the condition of photos to see if they are beyond repair. Damaged photographs for which there are no negatives should receive attention first. Once photographs have stuck together or become moldy, saving them may not be possible.
Remove photos that can be repaired from plastic or paper enclosures and frames. Handle wet photos carefully because the surfaces may be fragile.
Carefully rinse the photos with cool, clean water as necessary. Do not touch or blot surfaces.
Air dry all wet photos. Hang them with clips attached to the edges or lay them flat on absorbent paper. Don't allow photos to touch each other.
If there are too many photos for immediate attention, keep the photos in a container of clean water. This will preserve them for 48 hours. If more time is needed, photos may be frozen. If possible, insert freezer or waxed paper between each photo before freezing. Photos may be then sealed in a well-marked plastic garbage bag with a tie or Ziploc type plastic bag. Later, the photos may be defrosted, separated and air-dried.
If no freezer or refrigerator is available, rinse wet photos in clean water and dry them face up in a single layer on a clean surface (a table, window screen or clean plastic laid out on the ground).
Avoid drying the photos in direct sunlight and don't worry if the photos curl as they dry. A photo expert may be contacted later about flattening them.
* Flooded Books
If rinsing is necessary, hold the book closed. For partially wet or damp books, stand them on their top or bottom edge with covers opened at a 90-degree angle and allow them to air dry.
For very wet books, lay them on a flat, clean surface. Insert paper towels or other absorbent materials throughout the book. However, don't insert so much that the binding is stretched.
If there are too many books to air dry in 48 hours, wrap each book in freezer or waxed paper, pack them spine down in sturdy containers and then freeze them.
Start salvage early because mold may take over within 48 hours.
For more information, contact the Purdue Extension Office at 448-9041.