The name "Irene" derives from the Greek word eirene, which means "peace." But from what meteorologists at the National Weather Service and others are telling us, Hurricane Irene (poised to bully her way up the East Coast this weekend) is anything but peaceful.
Warning and watches have been posted up and down the eastern seaboard, and evacuations along the coast and other low-lying levels have commenced. And while preparing for flooding and wind damage is certainly critical with a storm of epic proportion looming, let's not forget the other dangers that are lurking.
With thousands (if not millions) of residents likely to lose electricity as a result of Irene, the use of portable generators undoubtedly will increase. And with the use of generators comes an increased risk for exposure to carbon monoxide. That's why folks at the U.S. Fire Administration (not to mention other federal, state and local officials) are reminding residents to use generators properly. Having a carbon monoxide alarm or detector (with battery backup) is a smart idea, too. For more about life safety tips and products, please visit http://www.lifesafetysolutionsonline.com.
In addition to fire and carbon monoxide dangers, there are other electrical dangers associated with severe storms and the resulting floods and power outages. Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFi) has posted some useful tips for staying safe in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.
This will be a doozy, folks. But with some common sense and precautionary measures, it is possible to reduce the risk of human injuries and loss of life.