Science

Generators can be fatal during a storm. Here’s what to know about using them safely.

Hurricane Ian knocked everyone out of power Cuba And it was so strong that on Wednesday morning, more than 100,000 people lost power on Florida’s Gulf Coast before the power went out. With that disruption comes the need for generators, but officials are warning people to take extra precautions to avoid a potentially fatal situation.

Ken Graham, director of the National Weather Service, said during a press briefing Wednesday morning that generators could be more dangerous than the effects of the storm.

“We’ve seen in some of these major storms over the years, including Hurricane Laura in Louisiana, that there were more deaths later with generators than a similar storm of 16 to 18 feet,” he said. ,

FEMA provides update on preparedness for Hurricane Ian

WATCH LIVE: FEMA Administrator Dean Criswell and other agency officials are sharing the latest updates on preparedness for Hurricane Ian as it approaches an “extremely dangerous” Category 5 hurricane in Florida. https://cbsn.ws/3fqWYp0

Posted by CBS News on Wednesday, September 28, 2022

The 2020 Hurricane Laura resulted in the death of 15 people, including eight who died of carbon monoxide poisoning from their generators.

Ahead of Hurricane Ian, which officials and agencies described as “extremely dangerous”, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission re-issued safety standards around generators.

“Generator use can kill you in minutes,” the commission warned. “Generator exhaust contains carbon monoxide. It’s a poison you can’t see or smell.”

In order to prevent sudden death in the midst of a storm, the commission said that generators should never be used inside a house or garage, even if the windows and doors are open. Appliances should only be used outdoors, at a distance of 20 feet from windows, doors and vents. The exhaust from the generator should also be pointed away from the house. They also recommend that people who are using generators make sure their carbon monoxide alarms are working.

“We have seen people escaping hurricanes die from carbon monoxide poisoning from their portable generators,” the commission tweeted. “These deaths are tragic and preventable. Please use your generator safely – outside.”

Generator safety is especially important during ION in many areas of Florida where emergency responders will not be able to help until the most dangerous aspects of the storm have passed. Such is the case in Manatee County, which announced before noon on Wednesday that the government and first responders had been “locked down.” There were also Charlotte County Fire and Emergency Services. Suspended,

“Emergency Response Will Not Be Available Until Hurricane Subsides,” Manatee County Gov. tweeted,

That county is expecting up to 13 inches of “extraordinary rainfall” in the next 24 hours alone, according to County Administrator Scott Hopes. On Wednesday morning, there were about three thousand power cuts in the district.

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