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Posted on: June 1, 2017

STORM DAMAGE - EVENING UPDATE 5.31.17

Shelby County Health Department

Check daily on those who live alone

  • Give special attention to the elderly and the disabled.

Food Safety

  • The Shelby County Health Department continues to urge residents and businesses to toss any perishable food in the refrigerator if you experienced a power outage lasting more than 4 hours .
  • Although you may look at the food and think it is safe to eat, meat items and dairy products should be thrown in the garbage.
  • After 4 hours following the loss of power, meat items and dairy products can grow bacteria.
  • Consuming dangerous foodborne bacteria will usually cause illness within 1 to 3 days of eating the contaminated food. However, sickness can also occur within 20 minutes or up to 6 weeks later.
  • Although most people will recover from a foodborne illness within a short period of time, some can develop chronic, severe, or even life-threatening health problems.
  • Symptoms of foodborne illness can include: Vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache, and body ache.
  • If you think you or a family member has a foodborne illness, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
  • Due to symptoms of a food-borne illness, an individual is at risk of becoming dehydrated.
    • What is dehydration? Dehydration happens when your body doesn’t have as much water as it needs. Without enough, your body can’t function properly. You can have mild, moderate, or severe dehydration depending on how much fluid is missing from your body.
    • Signs and symptoms of Dehydration:
      • Thirst
      • Dry or sticky mouth
      • Dark yellow urine
      • Dry and cool skin
      • Headache and muscle cramps
  • If you are a food establishment owner and have questions about food safety following Saturday’s storm, call the Shelby County Health Department at (901) 222-9203.
  • If you are a food establishment owner and want to request an inspection due to Saturday’s storm, call the Shelby County Health Department at (901) 222-9203.

Heat Safety

  • With the rising temps this week, everyone in Shelby County, especially those still experiencing a power outage, need to be mindful of heat exhaustion symptoms.
    • Fatigue
    • Weakness/Fainting
    • Nausea/Vomiting
    • Headache/Dizziness
    • Myalgia
    • Muscle cramps
  • Heath exhaustion combined with dehydration can be potentially very dangerous.
  • If an individual demonstrates any symptoms of exhaustion, they should immediately cool down by going indoors to a well-ventilated and air-conditioned building, drink plenty of cool water and rest.
  • If symptoms persist for more than 48 hours, individuals are encouraged to contact their healthcare provider.
  • SCHD encourages everyone to check on loved ones, especially those who are still experiencing a power outage, the elderly and anyone with a medical condition who may live alone.
  • If you are outside, or in your home without power, for an extended time, the Shelby County Health Department reminds residents to take the following precautions:
    • Drink 2-4 glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour.
    • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing when outdoors.
    • Limit your physical activity to morning and evening hours.
    • Start slowly and pick up the pace gradually.
    • Rest often in shady areas.
    • Protect yourself by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher.
  • If you don’t have power in your home, consider visiting a shopping mall, public library, or community center to keep cool during daytime hours. An emergency shelter is also available at the Orange Mound Community Center.

Disaster Assistance

  • Late this afternoon, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) received documents from the Shelby County Office of Preparedness seeking Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster funds to assist with the storm recovery effort.
  • The funds are to reimburse Memphis City Government, Shelby County Government and other Shelby County municipalities for resources they have used in the storm response and recovery effort.
  • In order for the State to qualify for FEMA disaster funds, there had to be just over $9 million in damage. That figure was met alone based on a $9.7million in damages to MLGW equipment and services.
  • Damage estimates from other government agencies and departments will continue to be tabulated through the storm recovery process.
  • Just whether there will be FEMA Individual Assistance funds is not yet known.
  • Damage assessments are still being done on homes and businesses.
  • Those results will be forwarded to TEMA once they’re completed.

SNAP Program Benefits for Storm Victims

  • Additional case workers have been called in to process SNAP benefits at the two service centers.
  • Shelby County residents currently enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (or SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps) who lost power for 12 hours or more may be eligible for replacement benefits.
  • Shelby County residents who are not enrolled in the SNAP program are not eligible to receive SNAP replacement benefits due to loss of power.
  • To be eligible for the replacement benefits, the household must:
    • Be current SNAP recipients;
    • Have been without power for 12 hours; or
    • Have experienced other household misfortunes that have caused the loss of food.
  • SNAP recipients must request replacement benefits within 10 (ten) calendar days of experiencing food loss. Once approved, replacement benefits are issued to current recipients using their existing EBT card. To request* replacement benefits, current SNAP recipients can call the Family Assistance
  • Service Center at 1-866-311-4287, or visit one of two Tennessee Department of Human Services Offices in Shelby County:
    • North Branch Office 3230 Jackson Avenue Memphis, TN 38122 Office Hours: 7:00 am - 4:30 pm
    • Welles Branch Office 3360 South Third Street Memphis, TN 38109 Office Hours: 7:00 am – 4:30 pm

Emergency Shelter and Other Needs for Storm Victims 

  • 39 people are staying at the American Red Cross shelter in Memphis at the Orange Mound Community Center near Midtown, 2572 Park Avenue.
  • Caseworkers will assist storm victims there and at the American Red Cross office at 1399 Madison Avenue.
  • Red Cross workers took their mobile food truck to serve residents in the Frayser area today.
  • The Salvation Army also delivered food and supplies to residents in the Whitehaven area today.
  • For shelter transportation, call (901) 636-2525. For other resources, call 2-1-1 or (901) 726-1690.

Public Libraries Have Extended Hours

MLGW 

  • 41,144 MLGW customers are without power. Outages: 1-800-268-8648.
  • MLGW crews are being assisted by more than 90 utility companies to help restore power.

Blocked Roads-Debris Removal

  • Memphis Public Works crews and contractors continued to clear road debris. 312 of 511 road debris cases in Memphis have been cleared. More than 20 crews continue to remove debris.

Electricity Hazards

  • Stay away from powerlines.
  • Make sure electrical systems or appliances damaged by the storm are inspected by a qualified, licensed professional.

Generator Safety

  • Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning - Only use generators outside, more than 20 feet away from your home, doors, and windows. Never use grills, camp stoves or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, or any partially enclosed area.
  • Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide (CO) buildup in the home. Although CO can’t be seen or smelled, it can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death. Even if you cannot smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed to CO. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air RIGHT AWAY - DO NOT DELAY.

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