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Severe Weather

As the result of severe storms that swept across the majority of the state during the evening rush hour on June 29, the State Emergency Operations Center activated to assist local communities with a variety of
power outages, extreme heat and debris issues.

State of Ohio agencies worked together through the Emergency Operations Center. Please see Ohio EMA’s website for the latest news.

Everyone is encouraged to check on their neighbor and make sure that they are safe and healthy, but also that they will have everything they need to stay healthy over the hot summer.

A power outage during extreme heat can be a threat. When the power was knocked out to approximately one million Ohio homes and businesses, there were growing concerns of food, water and generator safety.

Spoiled food can pose a health risk

  • When in doubt, throw it out!
  • Refrigerated food should be thrown out after two hours without power.
  • The smell and appearance of food does not tell you if it is safe to eat
  • Throw away perishable foods (including meat, poultry, fish, eggs and leftovers) that have been above 40°F for two hours or more. Thawed food that contains ice crystals or is 40°F or below can be refrozen or cooked.

For more information, see CDC’s information on Keeping Food and Water Safe after a Natural Disaster or Power Outage and Preventing Illness after a Natural Disaster

Water Safety
If you are on a public water system, tune into local radio and TV stations to see if you are under a boil alert.

Electrical power outages may affect the operation of your private home water or sewage treatment system. Learn what to do if you have a private water system or sewage treatment system.

Generator Safety
While a generator can provide an alternative source of power when the electricity goes out, it can also become a dangerous source of Carbon Monoxide.

Carbon monoxide, or CO, is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death. A single gas-powered generator can produce as much as 100 times more poisonous Carbon Monoxide gas than a car’s exhaust according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

How can I generate power safely or cook when the electricity is out?

  • Never use a generator inside your home, basement or garage.
  • Operate generators outdoors as far away from your house as possible. The National Institute of Standards and Technology reports that even 15 feet away may still be dangerous because the CO fumes can enter the home through windows, doors or vents. Tests are still being conducted to find a safe operating distance.
  • Never refuel a generator while it is running or hot.
  • Install CO detectors inside the home near all the sleeping areas.
  • Never use a gas range or oven for heating. Using a gas range or oven for heating can cause a build up of CO inside your home, cabin, or camper.
  • Never use a charcoal grill or a barbecue grill indoors. Using a grill indoors will cause a build up of CO inside your home, cabin, or camper unless you use it inside a vented fireplace.
  • Never burn charcoal indoors. Burning charcoal — red, gray, black, or white — gives off CO.
  • Never use a portable gas camp stove indoors. Using a gas camp stove indoors can cause CO to build up inside your home, cabin, or camper.