After the Storm: Wounds and Tetanus

While cleaning up outdoors, be sure you are up-to-date on your tetanus vaccine. Avoid contact with flood waters if you have an open wound and keep open wounds as clean as possible by washing well with soap and clean water and covering with a waterproof bandage to reduce chance of infection.

  • For minor injuries, prompt first-aid can accelerate healing and prevent infection. Wash hands with soap and water before and after providing first aid for a wound to help prevent infection. More serious wounds should be evaluated by qualified medical professionals and an age-appropriate tetanus vaccine given, if needed.
  • Tetanus vaccines are recommended for people of all ages. After a series of tetanus shots during childhood and adolescence, adults need a tetanus booster shot every 10 years. To ensure protection, a person with a puncture or deep wound should get a tetanus booster if it has been five or more years since their last tetanus vaccine.
  • Tetanus vaccinations: Learn more.
  • Wound care after a disaster: Learn more.