Tips for being prepared for this weekend’s snow storm


I just received this email from King County with a request to post this safety information on my blogs for our local community:

Are you prepared?  Steps to stay safe in this weekend's storm

With high winds forecast for this weekend and possible power outages, it's time to take steps to stay save and avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

How to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide can kill you or cause serious injury.  Carbon monoxide gas comes from burning fuels such as gasoline, propane, oil, kerosene, natural gas, coal or wood.  Here are some steps to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • Never use a gas or charcoal grill, hibachi, or portable propane heater to cook indoors or heat your home.
  • During a power outage or at any other time, do not operate fuel-powered machinery such as a generator indoors, including in the garage.

  • Avoid combustion "space heaters" unless there is an exhaust vent.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can strike suddenly and without warning.  In some cases, physical symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may include splitting headache, nausea and vomiting, and lethargy and fatigue.  If you believe you could be experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning, get fresh air immediately.  Call for medical help from a neighbors home.  The fire department will tell you when it's safe to reenter the home.

For a full list of carbon monoxide prevention tips and other safety and disaster information in English and other languages, visit

Other important safety tips

  • Make sure you are wearing enough warm clothing before going outdoors.  Wind speed can create dangerously cold conditions even when the temperature is not that low.
  • If you think power will be out for several days, check with your city for location of warming shelters.
  • Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia-slurred speech, confusion, uncontrollable shivering, stumbling, drowsiness and body temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit or less.  Get medical help immediately if you think someone has frostbite or hypothermia.
  • Check on elderly friends, family, and neighbors to make sure they are safe.
  • If power goes out where you live, keep food safe by keeping the doors closed on your refrigerators and freezers as much as possible.  A full freezer can stay at freezing temperatures about two days'' a half-full freezer about 1 day.  Potentially hazardous foods, like meet and fish, should be discarded if thawed and warmer than 41 degrees.

Update: News Release from the City of Seattle

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