To avoid carbon monoxide hazard/poisoning when using a portable generator:
• Always use generators outdoors, away from doors, windows and vents.
• NEVER use generators in homes, garages, basements, crawl spaces, or other enclosed or partially enclosed areas, even with ventilation.
• Follow manufacturer’s instructions.
• Install battery-operated or plug-in (with battery backup) carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home, following manufacturer’s instructions.
• Test CO alarms often and replace batteries when needed.
To Avoid Electrical Hazards:
• Keep the generator dry. Operate on a dry surface under an open, canopy- like structure.
• Dry your hands before touching the generator.
• Plug appliances directly into generator or use a heavy-duty outdoor- rated extension cord. Make sure the entire extension cord is free of cuts or tears and the plug has all 3 prongs, especially a grounding pin.
• NEVER plug the generator into a wall outlet. This practice, known as backfeeding, can cause an electrocution risk to utility workers and others served by the same utility transformer.
• If necessary to connect generator to house wiring to power appliances, have a qualified electrician install appropriate equipment. Or, your utility company may be able to install an appropriate transfer switch.
To Avoid Fire Hazards:
• Before refueling the generator, turn it off and let it cool. Fuel spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.
• Always store fuel outside of living areas in properly labeled, non-glass containers.
• Store fuel away from any fuel-burning appliance.
These resources are mostly for New Jersey residents – good luck to everyone out there! My family and I hope you stay safe, warm and dry. Please post any other resources you know as a comment. Please check in on friends, neighbors and seniors you know and help out if you can. Together we are strong and will overcome every challenge. (Post will be updated as information becomes available.)
Very Important Tips
- If you bought a generator from Costco DO NOT USE IT! Its causing FIRES!
- Homeowner’s Insurance Issue: when Sandy touched down in New Jersey, it was not technically a hurricane. Many insurance policies will not pay for hurricane damage, but in this case, they cannot deny New Jersey residents insurance coverage for damage their properties have sustained. Check it out!
- Try calling your town’s police or county Office of Emergency Management (OEM) for up to date shelter and aid information. You can also use your phone to search for open Red Cross shelters by texting: SHELTER and a Zip Code to 43362 (4FEMA). Example: Shelter 01234 (standard rates apply) or visit the Red Cross website.
Another way to look is using the search terms Google search for local shelters
If you book into a shelter, please remember to bring any clothes, medications for yourself and/or family members, and linens if you can. They will have food, but you might also want to bring a book. If you bring a pet please bring a carrier case or crate, leash, pet food, any medications, a water bowl, and waste bags.
- Pet friendly shelters on Jersey Shore
- Pet friendly shelters in Morris County
- Bergen County Regional Shelter (special needs accommodations and pet-friendly) is open at Bergen Community College, 400 Paramus Road, Paramus NJ
- Shelters in Greater Newark, NJ.
- Newark’s JFK Recreation Center on West Kinney Street is a pet-friendly shelter. Newark Stage Shelters (go there for transportation to a full-service shelter) are Berringer and Shabazz High schools.
- Irvington Shelter at Chris Gatling Center 285 Union Avenue 973-399-6597 or call Police at 973-399-6600 or Fire Department 973-399-6555
- Corey Arena in West Orange
- Park Avenue School and Lincoln Avenue School in Orange are Staging Shelters.
- Safety Tips & Reporting
- Don’t drive through water – most flood-related deaths occur in cars. Also, stay put as much as possible to keep roads free for emergency personnel until travel is safe.
- Report downed wires, outages and gas leaks to your electric and gas provider:
- How to eat and be well without electricity due to an emergency
- Drinking water safety Connecticut DPH website tells us to check well and public water by sight and smell. Don’t use water that is dark, has an odor, or has floating pieces. Also, listen to the news or check with your water company.
- Call 511 or visit 511 websites 511 NJ or 511 NY
How to Help
- President Obama points out that the best way to help Sandy victims is to donate money or volunteer. Supplies not specifically asked for, create the need for emergency personnel to sort and manage the donations, and this creates a burden on their time and energy.
- Facebook friend Kaia Shivers says “Donate directly to people in need NOT AMERICAN RED CROSS, ETC. (Kimi edit: so all of your money goes to help and not administrative fees). American Red Cross still has not explained the millions of dollars that disappeared in the Haiti Relief.”
- Shuan In the City has some good ideas for New Yorkers who want to help.