Hurricane season runs from June until November which means you still have time to prepare. According to the National Weather Service, last year was a record year with 30 named storms. Hurricanes & storms pose a flooding risk for many Texas cities, which means you will want to have a plan and evacuation kit in case disaster strikes. The impact of a storm can be difficult to predict, but lengthy power outages can increase the risk for carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. The use of alternative sources of fuel or electricity for heating, cooling, or cooking can cause CO to build up in a home, garage, or camper and poison the people and animals inside.
Follow these tips to keep you & your loved ones safe:
- Every home should have at least one working CO detector (preferably a battery powered one in case power goes out).
- The CO detector’s batteries should be checked at least twice annually, at the same time smoke detector batteries are checked.
- Never use a generator, or any gasoline-powered engine inside your home, basement, or garage. Be sure to use generators at least 20 feet from your home.
- Never use grills, lanterns or camping stoves inside your home.
- Never leave the motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage.
- Extra CO safety tips related to water safety:
Boats often vent in the back & CO can build up on the stern deck or on and near the swim deck which can be deadly!
- Swim and play away from areas where engines vent their exhaust.
Exposure to CO can cause loss of consciousness and death. The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. If CO poisoning is suspected, call 911 or your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.