DPH: October Snow Storm: Important Health Information

October Snow Storm: Important Health Information

 

Carbon Monoxide (CO)

Gasoline-powered generators release carbon monoxide (CO) which can be deadly. If your power goes out and you are using a gasoline-powered generator for energy, be sure that the generator is installed safely and far from your home. Never use your generator, charcoal or gas grills, gas lanterns or camping stoves indoors or in an enclosed area, like a garage. Gas stoves can produce carbon monoxide. DO NOT use your gas oven to heat your home. 
 
Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning: headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, sleepiness and confusion. If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, get outside IMMEDIATELY and dial 9-1-1 from outside of your home.

 

Chain Saw Safety

  • Before moving or cutting tree limbs, make sure there are no wires tangled in the limbs.
  • If you have little or no experience using a chain saw, hire a licensed professional to remove tree limbs and downed trees safely from your property.
  • Wear eye/face protection, foot protection, hard hat, ear protection, and chainsaw chaps.

 

Drinking Water

After a storm, water from public water supplies and private wells may not be safe to drink. Water that is discolored, cloudy, has an odor, or has small particles or floating pieces should NOT be used. Listen to the news or your water company to know if your water’s safe. For more information on public drinking water systems go to www.ct.gov/dph/publicdrinkingwater or call (860) 509-7333.
Private wells that have been damaged should be considered contaminated and be disinfected before use. Call the DPH Environmental Health Section at (860) 509-7296 to determine if your well water is safe. For more information on how to disinfect your private well go to www.ct.gov/dph/privatewells.

To disinfect water, use ONE of the following methods:

  • Boil at a rolling boil for one minute. Make sure water is clear of any particles or floating pieces before boiling; OR,
  • Add 8 drops of liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of clear water or 16 drops per gallon for cloudy water. Do NOT use bleach that has perfumes or ingredients other than sodium hypochlorite as it may be toxic; OR,
  • Add water purification tablets according to directions on the package.

Mix completely and let water stand 30 minutes before using.

 
Electrical Wires
  • DO NOT TOUCH downed electrical wires. Report it to your local utility company, police or fire department.
  • Do not turn power back on until a qualified electrician has inspected the property and says it is safe to do so.  Ask him/her to check wiring, appliances, and mechanical system components like, the furnace, water heater, and gas valves, to see if they can be salvaged or will need to be replaced.
 
Food Safety
Food may spoil if there is a loss of electricity. Information on what to do with food before, during, and after a storm. If you have questions about food safety, please call (860) 509-7297.
Information for food industry professionals. If you have questions about reopening a food service establishment, please call (860) 509-7297.
 
Power Outages and Carbon Monoxide
Gasoline-powered generators release carbon monoxide (CO) which can be deadly. If your power goes out and you are using a gasoline-powered generator for energy, be sure that the generator is installed safely and far from your home. Never use your generator, charcoal or gas grills, gas lanterns or camping stoves indoors or in an enclosed area, like a garage. Gas stoves can produce carbon monoxide. DO NOT use your gas oven to heat your home. 
 
Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning: headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, sleepiness and confusion. If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, get outside IMMEDIATELY and dial 9-1-1 from outside of your home.
 
Prevent Fires
Use flashlights or battery powered lanterns if possible. If you must use candles, place them in safe holders, away from anything that can burn and never leave unattended.  
 
 
Septic Systems

Homeowners with septic systems with an electric pump should keep an eye out for the possibility of sewage backup from their septic system. If you have questions regarding your septic system, please contact the Department of Public Health at (860) 509-7296.

 
 
Shelters and Warming Stations
To find a local shelter or warming station near you go to http://www.211ct.org/, click on “Winter Storm – October 2011” and then click on “Shelter Information” or dial 2-1-1.
Remember:
  • Call your shelter ahead of time to make sure that they can accomodate you.
  • Bring your prescription and over-the-counter medications, including insulin and testing supplies, with you.
  • If you are on oxygen or other medical device that requires supplies, be sure to arrange to have your medical supplies delivered to you where you are sheltering.
 

Tree Cleanup

Removing trees that may have fallen from the high-winds can be as dangerous as standing in the middle of the storm. If a tree or large branch is leaning toward or on your house, removal should only be done by a trained professional.
 
 
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Content Last Modified on 11/28/2011 6:41:34 PM