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Safety Issues Remain After Hurricane Passes, Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorneys Warn

east coast US hurricaneDangers remain long after storms like Hurricane Sandy pass by, say personal injury attorneys with Jacksonville’s Harrell & Harrell. Though she’s since died down and disappeared, Hurricane Sandy, the largest Atlantic hurricane on record, tore a $20 billion swath of devastation through portions of the Caribbean, Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States and the effects will plague residents for many months. Though Florida wasn’t hit this time around, the Atlantic Hurricane season runs through the end of November. And come June, it’ll start all over again. Here in Florida, where personal injury law firm Harrell and Harrell has offices in Jacksonville, Orlando and throughout the northeastern part of the state, residents are well versed on how to prepare for a hurricane. But many are unaware of the deadly dangers that remain in the weeks after a storm passes. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) are warning residents in hurricane-impacted areas of these safety concerns, and Harrell and Harrell is urging Floridians to take note in the case of a future storm aiming for our area. A top concern is the loss of electrical power and the resulting risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from portable gas-powered generators, as well as electrical shock from downed power lines. Generators should never be used indoors, including in garages. Instead, place your generator as far from your house as possible to avoid dangerous and install a CO alarm, regularly checking and changing the batteries. CO poisoning also can be caused by charcoal grills or camp stoves, which can be tempting to use when your stoves and microwaves are unusable. Remember that CO is odorless, colorless and virtually undetectable without an alarm, and that the CO levels created by generator exhaust are equal to that of multiple running cars. It can incapacitate and kill you and your family within minutes. Candles also pose a fire risk. Never leave them unattended while lit and take care to place them away from curtains, bedding or anything flammable. If you have natural or propane gas appliances or tanks with valves that have been underwater, never light a candle or strike a match, as it can spark an explosion. Leave the home immediately, leaving your doors and windows open, and call 911. Stay away from any down wires including cable TV feeds, as they could still be live with deadly voltage. Never handle or operate electrical appliances or components while standing in water. Even if your power comes back on, do not use electrical appliances or outlets that may have been under water. Before the next hurricane season hits, download safety information from the CPSC, FEMA and the USFA. And if you or your dependent is injured as a result of a post-storm accident or incident that could have been avoided, call a Harrell and Harrell personal injury attorney in Jacksonville, Orlando or Brunswick, Ga.