Should any calamity befall you or your family that changes your situation to one of survival, do you know what to do, where to go, how to get there, what to do once you get there, how to provide for yourself and loved ones or what you will need and how much? Most lack the forethought to plan ahead and prepare themselves for any likelihood other then a flat tire, and even then only because the automobile factory placed it in the vehicle for them. Feel free to read, experiment and improvise what I have put on this site to potentially help you one day.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning After a Disaster

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death if inhaled.

When power outages occur during emergencies such as hurricanes or winter storms, the use of fuel burning sources as an alternative for electricity, heating, cooling, or cooking can cause CO to build up in a home, garage, camper or tent. People and animals in these spaces can be poisoned and can die from breathing CO.

Every year, more than 400 people die in the U. S. from accidental CO poisoning.
CO is found in combustion fumes, such as those produced by small gasoline engines, stoves, generators, lanterns, and gas ranges, or by burning charcoal and wood.

-Every home should have at least one working carbon monoxide detector.

-The detector’s batteries should be checked at least twice annually at the same time smoke detector batteries are checked.

How to Recognize CO Poisoning

The clinical presentation of CO poisoning is the result of its underlying systemic toxicity. Its effects are caused not only by impaired oxygen delivery but also by disrupting oxygen utilization and respiration at the cellular level, particularly in high-oxygen demand organs (i.e., heart and brain).

Exposure to CO can cause loss of consciousness and death. The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. People who are sleeping or who have been drinking alcohol can die from CO poisoning before ever having symptoms.

Symptoms of severe CO poisoning include malaise, shortness of breath, headache, nausea, chest pain, irritability, ataxia, altered mental status, loss of consciousness, coma, and death.

Important CO Poisoning Prevention Tips

-Never use a home or portable gas range or oven to heat a home.

-Never leave the motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage.

-Never run a motor vehicle, generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine outside an open window, door, or vent where exhaust can vent into an enclosed area.

-Never run a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine inside a basement, garage, or other enclosed structure, even if the doors or windows are open, unless the equipment is professionally installed and vented. Keep vents and flues free of debris, especially if winds are high. Flying debris can block ventilation lines.

-Never use a charcoal grill, hibachi, lantern, or portable camping stove inside a home, tent, or camper.

-If conditions are too hot or too cold, seek shelter with friends or at a community shelter.

-If CO poisoning is suspected, consult a health care professional right away.

Sources of CO Poisoning

-Gas-powered generators

-Charcoal grills, propane stoves, and charcoal briquettes for both cooking and heating indoors

-Motor vehicles

-Fire (to include candles in an unventilated space)


-Power washers and other gas powered tools.

-Lanterns(oil, kerosene, natural gas, propane)

At-risk Populations include:

•Babies and infants
•The elderly
•People with chronic heart disease, anemia or respiratory illness.