Post-Hurricane Safety Reminders
General hurricane resource website:
Know what to do to keep yourself and your loved ones safe before, during, and after a storm
Know how the COVID-19 pandemic can affect disaster preparedness and recovery, and what you can do to keep yourself and others safe.
- 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.
For more information on carbon monoxide, go to www.ct.gov/dph/co.
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.
- After a storm, water from public water supplies and private wells may not be safe to drink. Water that is dark, has an odor, or has 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.
To disinfect water, use ONE of the following methods:
Boil at a rolling boil for one minute. Make sure water is clear of 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. Mix well and let stand for 30 minutes before using;
Add water purification tablets according to directions on the package
What To Do if There is a Boil Water Notice or Advisory (in various languages)
- Prevent fires by using 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.
- After the Storm: What to do When You Go Back to a Flooded, Moldy Home
- Video: Well Disinfecting (Penn State University) - 3:40
- The refrigerator will keep food safe for up to four hours during a power outage.
- Avoid opening the door if possible or only open the door when necessary to quickly grab any food items needed.
- If the power outage lasts for more than four hours, discard perishable food such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, cooked produce, and leftovers.
- You should never taste food after a power outage to determine its safety.
- Restaurants and other food establishments must consult with their local health department with regards to remaining open or re-opening after a power outage.
- To assist in determining what items to discard, the USDA has created a guide. Evaluate each item separately using the chart from the USDA website
- Remember: When in doubt, throw it out.
Food Safety Resources from Connecticut Department of Public Health:
- Food Safety for Power Outages
- What Consumers Need to Know About Food and Water Safety During Hurricanes, Power Outages and Floods (FDA)
- Food Emergencies: Information for Local Health Departments
- If you have to evacuate or leave your home, be sure to bring your medications and medical supplies with you. You should bring enough medication and medical supplies to last you for a few days. If you have a question on how to store your medication, including medication that requires refrigeration, you should contact your pharmacist. Persons who depend on medical supply deliveries and plan to temporarily stay at another address – with a neighbor, family member or at a shelter – should notify their medical supply providers to have their supplies delivered to the temporary location with no lapse in their care.
Guidance for Local Health Departments on Private Wells:
- Severe rainstorms, floods, and even spring thaws can put a strain on sanitary sewers and septic systems. Large volumes of storm water and ground water entering sewage systems can flood them, causing back-ups into basements and on to private property. Blockages in sewer systems can also cause back-ups. Your health may be impacted if a sewage back-up occurs in your home. Sewage back-ups can contaminate your private drinking well water. It can also pollute surface water (lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams, and reservoirs used for drinking water).
- Sewage Back-ups: Information for Residents
- Post Flood: Key Facts About Infectious Disease and Sewage Clean-Up