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 (even if the charcoal is smoldering), gas lanterns or camping stoves indoors or in an enclosed area, like a garage or basement. Gas stoves can produce carbon monoxide. DO NOT use your gas oven or stove 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.


Drinking Water

After a prolonged power outage, 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 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

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.
    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.