The American Red Cross has prepared this information to encourage you to take precautions to help keep you safe and speed your recovery after a disaster. You will also find ideas on what you can do to help make yourself and your home safer from future disasters.
In addition to having a bad odor, and taste, water from questionable sources may be contaminated by a variety of microorganisms, including bacteria and parasites that cause diseases such as dysentery, cholera, typhoid, and hepatitis. All water of uncertain purity should be treated before use. Learn more.
A disaster can cause significant financial loss. Your apartment or home may be severely damaged or destroyed. You may be forced to live in temporary housing. Income may be cut off or significantly reduced. Important financial records could be destroyed. Take the time now to assess your situation and ask questions. Start with your local Red Cross chapter. It can provide assistance in a disaster and/or refer you to others in your community who could be of help. Learn more.
Sudden power outages can be frustrating, especially when they are prolonged. Perishable foods should not be held above 40 degrees for more than 2 hours. If a power outage is 2 hours or less, you need not be concerned, but how do you save your food when the refrigerator is out for longer times? Being prepared can help. By planning ahead, you can save your perishables. Learn more.
The primary hazards to avoid when using a generator are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from the toxic engine exhaust, electric shock or electrocution, and fire. Follow the directions supplied with the generator. Every year, people die in incidents related to portable generator use. Learn more.