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Best Practices for Debris

  • • Establish a master plan for potential disposal of debris from a disaster and determine how to implement it.
  • • Establish a master plan for potential disposal of a variety of hazardous wastes from a disaster and determine how to implement it.
  • • Develop a recycling program prior to a disaster to establish the techniques, facilities, and equipment needed to recycle materials from the event. Shredded trees and shrubs can be recycled into compost or mulch. Concrete and asphalt can be crushed and used as a subbase for roads. All types of metals can be recycled and produce funds for other purposes. Dirt can be used as a landfill cover.
  • • Do not allow open burning of any debris since it causes air pollution problems and is potentially hazardous to the health of many people.
  • • Obtain, read, and then utilize the Debris Management Guide mentioned in endnote 52 for detailed explanations of how to deal with debris in a disaster setting.

Drinking Water (On-Site Water Supply and Public Water Supply)

(See Chapter13, “Water Systems (Drinking Water Quality)”)

Additional Best Practices for Drinking Water (On-Site Water Supply and Public Water Supply)

  • • Appropriate authorities should issue drinking water advisories when water is thought to be contaminated.
  • • Determine if local water can be made safe for public usage with proper decontamination and chlorination techniques and if not provide a safe supply of water to the community.
  • • Notify all appropriate state and federal authorities concerning the conditions of all water- producing facilities.
  • • Establish secondary sources of communications with appropriate authorities if the primary sources are disabled.
  • • Determine in advance where to obtain necessary chemicals, equipment, and heavy equipment to make repairs to water and sewage systems.
  • • Determine in advance how to obtain substantial quantities of safe water as rapidly as possible in the event of an emergency.
  • • Schedule all specialized emergency and clean-up crews to be brought in rapidly as floods subside.
  • • Establish means of transportation for workers to be moved rapidly into the water and wastewater treatment plants.
  • • Train all personnel on how to rapidly shut down water and wastewater treatment plants to avoid damage to the equipment.
  • • All pump stations should be in well-drained areas and above flood levels.
  • • Secure all fuel tanks and chemical tanks including those holding chlorine.
  • • Check all electrical equipment to determine if they are functioning and if they are hazardous.
  • • Sandbag all critical areas, shut down exposed pipes, and park all vehicles and essential equipment on high ground.
  • • Wash all hands and forearms thoroughly after coming in contact with any form of contamination.
  • • Inspect all wells and pumps to determine if there has been damage to the equipment, electrical, and other, or well construction including the casing, and make necessary corrections before disinfecting and potentially using the water supply.
  • • Disinfect all wells, cisterns, and other water sources in areas which may have been flooded, run the water for at least 48 hours and then submit the water for bacteriological testing before using the water source. Note: Chemically contaminated water cannot be made into drinking water quality for public consumption or other usage in this manner.
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