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Avoid Life Threatening Dangers During a Hurricane ​

Along with damaging winds and rain, hurricanes also bring the threat of poisonings with them.

According to the Carolinas Poison Center, CO (Carbon Monoxide) poisoning is a concern during massive  storms. CO can form when people burn fuels like gasoline, kerosene, wood, oil natural gas and methane without proper ventilation. The Poison Center recommends:

·         Only use generators outside – keep them 20 feet away from your home, doors and windows. Never bring them inside.
·         Never use a gas stove, camp stove or charcoal grill inside.
·         Keep your carbon monoxide detector up to date – on every level of your home as well as a battery backup.

Symptoms of CO poisoning can feel like the flu. If you are having headaches, dizziness, nausea, weakness or confusion, get to fresh air and call the center (1-800-222-1222).

With power outages and glitches, refrigerators and freezers can run sporadically, turning many of the stored items into hazardous foods. The Poison Center recommends:

·         Keep your freezer and refrigerator doors closed – a full freezer usually keeps food cold for about 48 hours. Refrigerators will keep food cold for about four hours.
·         Place a thermometer in both appliances to monitor temperatures – if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher, throw perishable food away.
·         Have food on hand that does not need to be refrigerated.
·         Boil water if your water service has been hindered.

Wild animals, including snakes, will be displaced by Hurricane Florence and some may seek shelter in odd places – such as your home. Be aware.

·         Watch where you step when flooding has occurred, even in areas that are not under water.
·         Carry a flashlight at night and at dusk to aid your sight.
·         Never attempt to relocate or kill these animals because they might bite you in the process.

The NC Poison Control Center is available by phone (1-800-222-1222) or chat ( if you think a poisoning has occurred.  Phone lines can sometimes be busy in a storm.  If internet connection is available, chatting with poison control may be a more reliable form of communication. South Carolina residents can refer to the Palmetto Poison Center and call 803-777-7909.

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