July Newsletter
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.
There are four kinds of venomous snakes in Texas: Coral snakes, Copperheads, Water Moccasins (Cottonmouths) and Rattlesnakes. In this newsletter, we will cover everything you need to know about Water Moccasins, aka cottonmouths.

The Water Moccasin is North America's only venomous water snake and is often confused with other non-venomous snakes. The name 'cottonmouth' comes from the white coloration of the inside of the snake's mouth. They are usually found in or near lakes rivers, ponds and swamps, although they are considered semi-aquatic which means they are also happy basking on land. The venom of a Cottonmouth can cause tissue death and potential blood clotting issues.

Appearance & characteristics:
  • Triangular-shaped head
  • Vertically elliptical pupils like a cat's eyes
  • Brown, olive or almost black in color with a patterned belly lighter than their body
  • Usually has a dark vertical line by each nostril
  • Baby water moccasins often have a bright to faded yellow tip that helps them lure prey closer to them
  • When threatened, they release out a strong smelling musk to deter predators
  • Adults vary between 2-3 ft in length on average
Symptoms of a bite:
  • Intense pain
  • Edema & swelling
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Numbness & weakness
  • Increase heart rate, vomiting & confusion
  • Call your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222 for instructions on all snakebites.
  • All snakebites should be examined and treated by a physician
  • If bitten, note the time of the bite, remove jewelry or other items that might constrict swelling, and remain calm.
  • Do not try to capture the snake.
  • Do not cut the wound and try to extract the venom.
  • Do not use ice or a tourniquet.
  • Do not take pain relievers or other medications without first seeking medical advice. Do not drink alcohol.

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