The Washington Times-Herald

November 19, 2013

Stay safe during clean up

The Washington Times-Herald

---- — Purdue Extension has variety of publications and resources available regarding Tornado Clean-up. They can be found on the following website:

Some things to keep in mind including:

Appropriate clean-up attire: Safety first

After adjusting to the initial shock and devastation of a tornado, clean-up seems like the obvious next step. But the nature of a crisis can make it easy to forget that safety always comes first. According to John Shutske, Agricultural Health and Safety Specialist with the University of Minnesota Extension Service, one of the most important safety aspects of clean-up work is dressing safely. When cleaning up tornado debris:

• Wear heavy pants and a long sleeve shirt, or coveralls.

• Use heavy work gloves or leather gloves.

• Wear durable work boots with intact soles and steel toes if possible. DO NOT wear sneakers or open-toed shoes!

• Some tools require the use of approved impact-resistant safety glasses. Some power tools may require additional protection.

In addition to dressing safely, remember to exercise caution when cleaning. Often, it is safer to call a professional rather than to risk injury moving heavy or hazardous debris by yourself. Tetanus booster shots are recommended every 10 years. During clean-up, if you receive a puncture wound, see your doctor to find out if a shot is needed.

Chain Saw Safety

To avoid injuries, possibly even death, practice safe woodcutting while clearing, thinning, cutting firewood or cleaning up trees downed by a storm.

You should be well prepared before going into the woods. Cutting firewood, thinning timber stands or clearing is worthwhile and rewarding if done properly, but they can also be dangerous. Felling, limbing, bucking and trimming trees are hazardous tasks if not done carefully.

Obtain the following personal protective equipment before starting to work and wear all protection while sawing.

• A hard hat to protect your head from falling limbs or branches. The best helmets have a face guard.

• Safety glasses or goggles to prevent injury from flying wood chips. Wear these during wood splitting also, to preserve your eyesight.

• Ear muffs or ear plugs to protect ears from permanent injury. Noise from some gasoline powered chain saws can exceed 100 decibels.

• Lightweight gloves, preferably leather, to protect hands from abrasions and cuts.

• Heavy work boots or shoes with high tops and steel toes.

• Trim fitting clothing free of ragged edges. Loose clothing will readily snag on limbs or get caught in the saw. Woodcutter’s chaps are recommended to give leg protection during a mishap.

Food Safety When the Power is Out

Bacteria that cause foodborne illness multiply rapidly on food kept at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Do not rely on the appearance or odor to determine if the food is safe. This guide tells you how long food stays cold when the power goes off to help you decide what to salvage and what to discard.

Refrigerator -Food in a refrigerator is generally safe if the power is out for less than 4 to 6 hours. The length of time that the food will be safe depends on:

1.How cold the refrigerator was when the power went off. The colder the refrigerator, the longer the food will stay cold.

2.How warm the room is. The colder the room, the longer the refrigerator will stay cold.

3.How often the refrigerator door is opened, especially if the room is warm. Keep the door closed as much as possible.

4.Placing a block of ice on a pan in the refrigerator helps keep the temperature low and extends the time food will be safe.

Discard the following perishable foods if kept above refrigerator temperature (40°F) for more than 2 hours:

• raw or cooked meat, poultry or seafood

• milk/cream, yogurt, soft cheese

• cooked pasta, pasta salads

• custard, chiffon, or cheese pies

• fresh eggs, egg substitutes

• meat or cheese-topped pizza, luncheon meats

• casseroles, stews, soups

• tartar sauce and creamy dressings

• refrigerated cookie dough

• cream-filled pastries

Freezer- Food in a freezer will stay cold longer than in the refrigerator. With the door closed, items in most freezers stay frozen for 24 to 48 hours, even in the summer.

How long the food stays frozen depends on:

1. The amount of food in the freezer — Food in a full freezer will stay frozen for at least 2 days. Items in a half-loaded freezer may not stay frozen for more than a day.

2. The kind of food — A full freezer of meat will stay colder than a freezer full of baked goods.

3. The temperature of the food — The colder the food, the longer the food will stay frozen.

4. The size of the freezer — The larger the freezer, the longer the food stays frozen.

Power Outage Procedures

1. Keep the freezer door closed. This is the most important step you can take to keep the food from defrosting. Opening the door greatly reduces the time food stays frozen without power.

2. Add dry ice to the freezer. The more dry ice, the longer the food will stay frozen. If dry ice is placed in the freezer soon after the power goes off, 50 pounds added to a 20 cubic-foot cabinet should keep the temperature of food below freezing for 3 to 4 days in a fully loaded freezer and 2 to 3 days in a cabinet with half a load or less. Twenty-five pounds of dry ice should hold the temperature of a half-full 10 cubic foot cabinet below freezing for 2 to 3 days. (Note – Place dry ice on thick cardboard or boards on top of the frozen food or on shelves, not directly on packages. Always wear gloves when handling dry ice. Never touch dry ice with hands. Be sure room is well ventilated. Do not breathe the carbon dioxide gas from the dry ice.)

3 .Move food to another low-temperature storage space. If the trouble is a breakdown of your freezer, your neighbors may have enough space to hold your food.

4. Place blankets, quilts, or some other covering over the freezer for extra insulation. Do not block the air-vent opening.

Foods held above refrigerator temperatures (40°F) for more than two hours may not be safe to eat. Discard these items. You may safely refreeze most foods if they still contain ice crystals, or if they have been kept cold (40°F or less) and have been thawed no more than 24 to 48 hours.

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