Tips to staying safe after the storm

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HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – The Henrico County Office of Emergency Management offered the following list of tips to help you keep safe in the hours and days after the storm:

  • Continue to monitor the news for emergency information.
  • Be careful when entering any structure that has been damaged.
  • Wear sturdy shoes or boots, long sleeves and gloves when handling or walking on or near debris.
  • Wear safety glasses or protective eyewear when working with debris to avoid eye injury.
  • Be aware of hazards from exposed nails and broken glass.
  • Do not touch downed power lines or objects in contact with downed lines. Report electrical hazards to Henrico County Emergency Communications and Dominion Power (1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357)
  • Use battery-powered lanterns, if possible, rather than candles to light homes without electrical power.
  • Never use generators, pressure washers, grills, camp stoves or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside your home, basement, garage or camper, or even outside near an open window, door or vent. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death if you breathe it. The gas can build up in your home, garage or camper and poison the people and animals inside. Seek prompt medical attention if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed or nauseated.
  • Be aware of possible structural, electrical or gas-leak hazards in your home. Contact county building inspectors for information on structural safety codes and standards.
  • In general, if you suspect any damage to your home, shut off electrical power, natural gas and propane tanks to avoid fire, electrocution or explosions.
  • Especially as power is restored in the region, if you see frayed wiring or sparks, or if there is an odor of something burning, you should immediately shut off the electrical system at the main circuit breaker if you have not done so already and call for help.
  • Wear sturdy shoes or boots, long sleeves and gloves.
  • Learn proper safety procedures and operating instructions before operating any gas-powered or electric-powered saws or tools.
  • Clean up spilled medicines, drugs, flammable liquids and other potentially hazardous materials.
  • Use caution or seek professional assistance when removing fallen trees, clearing debris or using equipment such as chain saws.
  • Avoid lifting material weighing more than 50 pounds per person.
  • Perishable foods, including meats, dairy products and eggs, that haven’t been refrigerated for more than two hours should be discarded because they are no longer safe to consume.
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