May 20, 2022: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed six Connecticut Counties in the High/Orange category as part of its COVID-19 Community Levels Map. Only Fairfield and Tolland Counties are listed in the Medium/Yellow category. Residents in these counties should wear a mask indoors in public; stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and get tested if they have symptoms. Additional precautions may be needed for residents who are at high risk for severe illness. Visit the CDC COVID-19 Community Levels Map for updates.

 

Post-Hurricane Safety Reminders

General hurricane resource website:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Website

Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC) (Spanish) 

 
CDC Post-Hurricane Resources: (Click on the links below)

 

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.

  

 

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.


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 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.
  • Private wells that are flooded or may be contaminated should be disinfected before use. Call the DPH Environmental Health Section at (860) 509-7325 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 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; 
  • OR,
  • Add water purification tablets according to directions on the package
Fires
  • 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.
 
 
Flooding
  • Flooding can contaminate your well, making your water unsafe. Information on what to do if your well is contaminated.
Food Safety 
  • 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:

Other Helpful food safety resources:

Keep Food Safe After a Disaster or Emergency | Food Safety | CDC

Food and Water Safety During Power Outages and Floods | FDA

Food Safety in a Disaster or Emergency | FoodSafety.gov

       
Medications
  • 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:

 
Sewage Back-ups
  • 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).

Worker Safety