Monday, November 20, 2017 Elyria 30°

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After You've Weathered the Storm: Clean-Up Safety Tips


In the days following the area’s recent high winds, flooding, and power outages Lorain County General Health District’s Acting Health Commissioner Dave Covell, MPH, issues safety reminders for residents.

Electrical Safety:

  • Never touch a fallen power line.
  • Do not drive through standing water if downed power lines are in the water.
  • If you believe someone has been electrocuted, call or have someone else call 911.

Generator Safety:

Incorrect generator use can lead to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from the toxic engine exhaust, electric shock or electrocution and fire. Follow the directions supplied with the generator.

  • Only use your generator outdoors and follow these safety tips:

    • Operate it on a dry surface under an open canopy-like structure.
    • Place generators away from windows, doors, and vents that could allow CO to come indoors.
    • Generators should be at least 15 feet away from buildings.

  • Keep your generator and hands dry when operating. Do not use in rain or wet conditions. Operate it on a dry surface under an open canopy-like structure.

Food Safety:

  • Never taste a food to determine its safety!
  • Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature
  • The refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened. If you have a thermometer and it reads 40 °F or below the food is safe. A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full and the door remains closed).
  • Food may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is at 40 °F or below.
  • Use block ice or dry ice to keep your refrigerator and freezer as cold as possible if the power is going to be out for a prolonged period of time. Fifty pounds of dry ice should hold an 18-cubic-foot full freezer for 2 days.
  • If refrigerator temperature goes above 40 °F, throw out perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, soft cheeses, milk, eggs, leftovers, and deli items. Rising refrigerator temperatures become a concern after 4 hours without power.
  • When in Doubt, Throw it Out!

For more information to help you weather the storm, follow us on Twitter @LorainCoHealth or Like us on Facebook.

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