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Hurricane Safety: Hazards to Avoid After a Storm

Often, your safety can be at just a great of risk after a major storm event as it is during. Follow these do’s and dont’s to keep your family safe, courtesy of the Consumer Product Safety Commission in partnership with Safe Kids North Carolina.

Hazards to Avoid Post-Storm


  • Stay away from downed wires.
  • Look for signs that your appliances may be wet as they may pose electric shock/fire hazards.
  • Have a professional evaluate your home before using appliances again.
  • Consider replacing all gas control valves, electrical wiring, circuit breakers and fuses that may have been under water.


  • Use flashlights or battery-powered lanterns instead of candles.

If you must use candles:

  • Don’t burn candles on or near anything that can catch fire.
  • Never leave burning candles unattended.
  • Extinguish candles when you leave the room.


  • Never use charcoal indoors as it can produce lethal levels of carbon monoxide.


  • Smell gas leaking? DON’T turn lights on or off or use electrical equipment.
  • LEAVE IMMEDIATELY, then call 9-1-1!

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning


Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas produced by burning gasoline, wood, propane, charcoal or other fuel.

Symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to the flu and include:

  • headache
  • fatigue
  • shortness of breath
  • nausea
  • dizziness

If you suspect that you are experiencing CO poisoning:

  • Get fresh air immediately & call for assistance.
  • Get medical attention IMMEDIATELY. Let medical staff know that you suspect CO poisoning.
  • Call the fire department to determine whether it’s safe to reenter your home.

Our Emergency Departments Are Open 24/7

Remember, WakeMed emergency departments are always open – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Not sure if it’s worth a trip to the ER? View these helpful tips on when to visit the emergency department.

If you are visiting another one of our facilities, please check our website for the latest closings & delays.