FEMA Echoes La. Precautions for Entering Oil-Contaminated Properties in St. Bernard Parish

November 10, 2005

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said it encourages St. Bernard Parish residents entering oil-contaminated properties to heed warnings issued by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. FEMA’s state partners discourage access to oil-contaminated properties especially for children and pets. Limited access is possible but requires following specific safety precautions.

Aside from standard precautions necessary when entering flooded areas, St. Bernard Parish residents impacted by the Murphy Oil spill should:

* Protect their skin from contacting oil
– Use oil-resistant gloves
– Keep arms and legs covered
– Wear coveralls or clothing that can be discarded
– If oil gets on skin, they should wash well with soap and water
* Open doors and windows to ventilate oil-contaminated property
* Be careful not to bring oil-contamination to other places
– Wear boot covers or leave work boots at the oil-contaminated property
– Avoid tracking oil or oily sediments into the car or truck
– Leave items with oil to avoid taking them where they might contaminate others
* Do not wash clothes worn in the oil spill area with family laundry

FEMA urges people with questions to call the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for more information. The toll free number is 1-888-293-7020.

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