Power outages often occur during winter weather emergencies. During times like this,
many people try to use alternative sources of fuel or electricity, such as small
gasoline engines, stoves, generators, lanterns, and gas ranges, for heating or cooking.
These alternative sources of fuel may produce a very deadly gas, carbon monoxide.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, this odorless, colorless gas can build up
in your home, garage, or camper and poison the people and animals inside, causing
sudden illness and even death. If you are too cold, or need to prepare food, don’t put
yourself and your family at risk. The C-D-C suggests that you turn to friends or a
community shelter for help. If you must use an alternative source of fuel or electricity,
be sure to use it only outside and away from open windows.
When returning home after a winter storm, take these steps to ensure safety. To
prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, do not use generators, charcoal grills, or other
fuel-burning devices indoors, or in enclosed or partially enclosed areas. Listen to local
updates to find out if tap water is safe for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and bathing. If
the water is not safe, use bottled or boiled water. And remember to stay warm. Wear
several layers of clothing to help keep in body heat.