As North Carolinians begin to feel the impacts, including power outages and flooding, from the remnants of Hurricane Ian, officials from the NC Department of Health and Human Services are urging residents to properly prepare for impacts from the storm.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
People are cautioned against using gasoline-powered generators or tools, outdoor grills and camp stoves in enclosed spaces. These devices should be used outside only and at least 20 feet away from windows, doors and air vents to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas produced whenever fuel is burned. In an enclosed space, such as a home, garage, car or camper, carbon monoxide can quickly build up to deadly levels within minutes - especially for children, pregnant women, older adults and/or those with chronic illness.
Even low levels of carbon monoxide can cause dizziness, fatigue, nausea, headaches, confusion or fainting. If you experience these symptoms, get to fresh air immediately and seek medical attention.
To protect yourself and your family, follow the guidelines at:
Preparing Private Wells and Septic Tanks for Floods
Excessive rains and flooding can cause water in your private well to become contaminated, which can cause illness if it is consumed or comes into contact with the skin. Flooding can also cause problems with septic tanks leading to contamination with human sewage.
Proper steps to prepare your well and septic tank ahead of time can be found at https://ehs.dph.ncdhhs.gov/oswp/docs/Septicsystems-and-wellinfloodingCondition-FACTSHEETS.pdf
Avoiding Storm Hazards
Take steps to avoid injuries from wind or flooding, including the following:
- Do not walk in, play in or drive through flooded areas (Turn around. Don't drown). Flood water contains hidden hazards and may be deeper and faster moving than it appears. Wear shoes at all times.
- Stay away from downed power lines.
- If you get a cut or puncture wound, get a tetanus booster shot if you have not had one in the past 5 years.
- Standing waters are breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Use insect repellant, long sleeves, pants, socks and shoes, if possible. Empty standing water from containers inside and outside the home.
Further information and resources to safely prepare for storms and for recovery after storms can be found at www.ncdhhs.gov/disaster-recovery.
- NC Department of Health and Human Services
- 2001 Mail Service Center
- Raleigh, NC 27699-2001
- Ph: (919) 855-4840