FEMA Warns Katrina Victims About Risk From CO Poisoning

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says there’s a new threat to those living in areas hit hard by Hurricane Katrina: carbon monoxide (CO). FEMA has released a bulletin that Katrina victims living in temporary homes, using new and unfamiliar heating equipment or spending a great deal of their time – or even living – in their vehicles are at risk for CO poisoning.

Even now, power has not been restored to some Katrina areas in Louisiana and Mississippi, and some have opted to use power generators, as well as fuel-burning heaters and appliances. However, FEMA says two have died of CO poisoning in Mississippi because they were operating generators indoors.

“We urge people to exercise caution and use good common sense around these types of appliances not only as we move into the colder months, but year-round,” said Nick Russo, FEMA’s federal coordinating officer for the Mississippi recovery.

According to FEMA, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends that consumers use gasoline-powered generators outdoors to prevent CO poisoning, and that every living space should have at least one CO detector that meets the requirements of UL 2034.


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