WASHINGTON, June 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- https://www.cpsc.gov/Newsroom/News-Releases/2020/Hurricane-Season-Amid-COVID-19-Be-Informed-Be-Prepared-and-Be-Safe
June 1 marks the start of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, and forecasters say it will be an above normal storm season. That's news none of us ever wants to hear, but especially during this COVID-19 environment. "Powerful storms and hurricanes are likely to affect millions of Americans who are already dealing with the stress that comes with a pandemic," said CPSC Acting Chairman Robert Adler. "That is why we urge everyone now more than ever, to be informed, be prepared and be safe," he added.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have said that you may need to adjust any preparedness actions, based on the latest health and safety guidelines from the CDC and your local officials.
In Case of Evacuation
If you must evacuate, the CDC is recommending you have additional items on hand, such as cloth face coverings, hand sanitizer, and cleaning products to help prevent the spread of viruses at the shelter. CPSC is reminding consumers to keep all cleaning products and medications out of reach from children, and keep them in their original child-resistant containers at your evacuation site.
Before the Storm
Consumers need to be especially careful during a loss of electrical power, as many use portable generators and other sources for power and heat, exposing them to increased risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and fire. If you plan to use a portable generator in the case of power loss, follow these tips before the storm to prepare:
Poisonous carbon monoxide from a portable generator can kill you and your family in minutes. CO is an invisible killer. It's colorless and odorless. According to the CDC, more than 400 people die each year in the United States from CO poisoning. CPSC estimates about 70 consumers die each year from CO poisoning caused by portable generators.
After the Storm
The storm has hit, and the power is out. Now what? Follow these life saving tips:
Other product safety hazards during hurricane season include:
- Never use charcoal indoors. Burning charcoal in an enclosed space can produce lethal levels of carbon monoxide. Do not cook on a charcoal grill in a garage, even with the door open.
- Use caution when burning candles. Use flashlights instead. If you must use candles, do not burn them on or near anything that can catch fire. Never leave burning candles unattended. Extinguish candles when you leave the room and before sleeping.
- Look for signs that your appliances have gotten wet. Discard unplugged electrical or gas appliances that have been wet because they pose electric shock and fire hazards. Do not touch electrical or gas appliances that are still plugged in.
- Before using your appliances, have a professional or your gas or electric company evaluate your home and replace all gas control valves, electrical wiring, circuit breakers, and fuses that have been under water.
GAS LEAKS: IF YOU SMELL IT, REPORT IT
If you smell or hear gas, do not turn lights on or off, or use electrical equipment, including a phone. Leave your home and contact local gas authorities from outside.
Remember, it only takes one storm to wreak havoc causing mass destruction and loss of life. Be informed, be prepared and be safe!
About U.S. CPSC:
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals – contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
For more lifesaving information, follow us on Facebook, Instagram @USCPSC and Twitter @USCPSC or sign up to receive our e-mail alerts. To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at 800-638-2772 or teletypewriter at 301-595-7054 for the hearing impaired.
CPSC Consumer Information Hotline
Contact us at this toll-free number if you have questions about a recall:
800-638-2772 (TTY 301-595-7054)
Times: 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. ET; Messages can be left anytime
Call to get product safety and other agency information and to report unsafe products.
Please use the phone numbers below for all media requests.
Release Number: 20-130
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SOURCE U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission