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Floods and health hazards : Experts remain mobilized and help flood victims - More than a thousand inspections completed

18 mai 2017

Montréal, le 18 mai 2017 - The Prevention section of the Service de sécurité incendie de Montréal (SIM) and the Direction régionale de santé publique de Montréal (DRSP) continue to provide assistance to flood victims to ensure their safe return home. Louise Desrosiers, head of the prevention section at the SIM, and the director of public health, Dr. Richard Massé, emphasized at a joint press briefing the importance of obeying the instructions of authorities to ensure a safe return home.

Two conditions remain for residents to be allowed to return home. First, the premises must be inspected by specialists. Second, individualized safety instructions must be given to returning residents. Public safety groups support borough and SIM inspectors in their inspection of homes and businesses. They visit daycare centres and health institutions affected by floods to ensure the absence of risks for the health of occupants. These visits are an opportunity to remind residents of important prevention measures.

Inspection report

Over the past few days, the Service de sécurité incendie carried out more than a thousand home inspections to determine if the premises can be reintegrated safely. In cases where repairs are necessary, the preliminary evaluation is followed by a detailed inspection showing the condition of the structure of the damaged homes. Building inspectors and electricians evaluate, free of chare, the extent of the damage, identify the repairs that must be carried out, or issue a notice of non-reintegration.  

Detail of inspections completed to date:

  • 60 homes in the red category (reintegration not possible for safety/health reasons)
  • 500 homes in the yellow category (reintegration possible if certain health/safety rules are obeyed)
  • 500 homes in the green category (reintegration authorized)

Residents who are authorized to reintegrate their homes must carry out important inspections as follows:

  • Ensure that heating and electricity systems are working correctly
  • Check the general state of the building
  • Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Check for mould
  • Document damages (take photos and keep a written log)
  • Be sure of food and water quality before consuming

 The main health risks associated with the return home after a flood are:

  •  Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Gastroenteritis due to drinking contaminated water or contact with contaminated objects
  • Skin irritations and infections due to contact with water or soiled objects
  • Respiratory problems due to the presence of mould

 

Wearing gloves, rubber boots and a mask (N95 indoor type for increased protection against mould particles or spores) are preventive measures. Gloves and N95 masks are made available by the SIM to residents at the shelters, free of charge, when visiting.

 

To ensure child safety, please make sure that they avoid walking or playing in parks, public places and yards where debris may be found and where the soil is not yet dry. They may injure themselves and may be at risk of infection.

 

Information for victims

Public sessions are planned where information will be given to disaster victims, especially regarding the Québec government financial assistance program. The next session will take place on Saturday, May 20, at 10 a.m., at the Ahuntsic-Cartierville YMCA (11885, boul. Laurentien).The SIM and DRSP will be represented at these sessions. 

 

Disaster victims can get more information and prevention tips by visiting the city's Sécurité civile Web site (ville.montreal.qc.ca/csc) or the santemontreal.qc.ca portal. City information can also be obtained by calling 311, while questions regarding health will be answered by calling 811. 

 

 

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