Returning residents urged to stay safe

Date published: 6 February 2019

Townsville residents returning to their homes are encouraged to take some simple steps to ensure they don’t fall prey to food poisoning, infections or injury.

Firstly, do not jump the gun on returning home. Please make sure the environment is safe and you are not crossing flood waters.

Remember that flood water can be highly contaminated and it is essential that people do not swim in it – especially children who could possibly ingest it.

If your property has lost power:

  • Throw out any spoiled food or items that have thawed without refrigeration
  • Medication that is normally refrigerated (or that has been exposed to water) may need to be discarded

Hygiene is paramount after a major flood, so wash your hands regularly with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser, particularly when preparing food, and after drinking, smoking and going to the toilet.

Any cuts or abrasions should be washed and disinfected, especially if it has been exposed to flood water or mud. Once the wound has been cleaned, it should be covered with a water-proof dressing.

For further information, fact sheets are available at