With possible flooding a fact of life for many senior citizens who live in the Upper Midwest, residents should take some precautions when they return to their homes to minimize respiratory issues.
One of the many possible effects of a flood is loss of power, and some people turn to generators or their ovens to help provide heat, but that may lead to a potentially dangerous carbon monoxide buildup, says the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest.
Seniors and the sick may be stressed by the rising waters, which may lower the body's defenses and lead to an increased possibility of asthma or pneumonia.
Those who could be affected may want to monitor their health once heavy rains begin.
Once the waters have receded, any building materials in one's home that have been submerged must be removed, as mold risks begin less than two days after the initial flood. Materials to look for include sheetrock, plywood and carpeting.
While it is not necessary to immediately send damaged items to the dumpster, they should be kept in a well-ventilated area that has suffered flood damage, rather than bringing the potential microbes into clean areas of the house, as those may exacerbate asthma.