NH DHHS Urges Residents to Continue Precautions in Irene’s Aftermath

Concord, NH - The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS), Division of Public Health Services, reminds all Granite Staters

that while some people remain without power and because of flooding in the

State it is important to continue to be vigilant about prevention of

illness and injury.

Food Safety in Restaurants

Some food establishments have been without power at some point because of

the storm. Food establishments are reminded that they should cease

operation and contact the Food Protection Section when they have

experienced a disruption of water service or interruption of electrical

service for longer than 2 hours, have a contaminated water supply or failed

sewer system, or experience flooding in the establishment or any other

event that could result in contamination of the establishment or the food

supply. The Food Protection Section will approve the resumption of

operations when an imminent health threat no longer exists or when the

establishment has offered a plan to mitigate all threats to health and

safety. Retail establishments with questions about safe food handling

during a power outage or flood can get a copy of the Emergency Action Plan

at www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/fp/documents/emergency/pdf. Consumers or

establishments can reach the Food Protection Section at 603-271-4589.

Well Water Safety

If you have a private well that was flooded because of Tropical Storm

Irene, it needs to be tested and disinfected before it is safe to use the

water again. Heavy precipitation tends to mobilize bacteria and thus

highlight conditions of poor well construction. The New Hampshire

Department of Environmental Services (DES) urges all private well owners

whose well has been flooded to boil their water for drinking and to have

their well water quality tested after the floodwaters have receded. Make

sure your drinking water is safe by disinfecting and testing your wells

after the floodwaters recede:

To request a test container from the DES Laboratory (

www2.des.nh.gov/OneStop/Homeowner_Container_Request.asp), please

contact 271-3445.

For information on disinfection of private wells, please go to

Disinfecting A Private Well (DES Fact Sheet;



West Nile Virus and EEE

Mosquitoes need standing water to breed and flood waters can provide the

perfect habitat. Infected mosquitoes can spread West Nile Virus and Eastern

Equine Encephalitis (EEE) to people by biting them. Residents are asked to

be sure to eliminate standing water left over from rain or flooding on

their property, such as in tires, flowerpots, bird baths, and gutters. Also

be sure to wear an insect repellent used according to manufacturer’s

directions if you are outside and mosquitoes are biting. WNV/EEE season

lasts until at least the first hard frost across the State.

Asthma and Mold

The recent impact of tropical storm Irene has left many homes with water

related damage that can have an impact on health. Flooding can affect

asthma and other respiratory diseases. The resultant moisture, dampness and

mold in homes and other private and public buildings can result in poor

indoor air quality and may make asthma and other respiratory illnesses

worse. For more information visit: www.epa.gov/iaq/flood/,


www.epa.gov/iedmold1/moldguide.html, and


For more information related to Tropical Storm Irene visit

www.nh.gov/readynh. For FEMA Disaster Assistance call 1-800-621-3362. For

general flood insurance questions call the NH Insurance Department at

1-800-852-3416. To report damage call 211.