Stormy Weather Poison Prevention

Poison Prevention Tips

  • Be prepared. 
    • Put the poison control number (1-800-222-1222, U.S. only) on or near your phone. 
    • Save  as a browser favorite (
  • Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
    • Install a battery-operated carbon monoxide alarm in every sleeping area of your home. Replace or test the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall.
    • Keep appliances, furnaces, fireplaces and wood-burning stoves in good repair.
    • Never operate a generator in an enclosed or semi-enclosed space such as a basement, garage, carport, barn or enclosed porch.
    • Place generators away from doors and windows that may allow carbon monoxide to enter the house. Direct the exhaust away from the house.
    • Do not use charcoal or gas grills, stoves, gas ovens, camp stoves or hibachis to heat your home (or your tent or camper).
    • Recognize the early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning: flu-like symptoms such as headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and lightheadedness. Often many people and even pets get sick at about the same time. If symptoms develop, leave the area and get medical attention right away.
    • Don’t run a car or truck in a garage attached to a house, even if you leave the garage door open. 
    • Never run a pressure washer or any gasoline-powered engine in a basement, garage or enclosed structure, even if the doors or windows are open, unless the equipment is professionally installed and vented. Don’t run this equipment outside an open window, door or vent where exhaust can vent into an enclosed area. Keep vents and flues free of debris.
    • Don’t burn anything in a fireplace that isn’t ventilated.
  • Food safety – if the power goes out:
    • Throw out perishable foods (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, leftovers, dairy products) that was in a refrigerator without power for 4 hours or more.
    • Thawed food that contains ice crystals can be refrozen or cooked.
    • Throw out food that was in a full, unopened freezer without power for more than 48 hours. Throw out food that was in a half-full, unopened freezer without power for 24 hours or more.
    • Throw out food that may have come in contact with flood or storm water.
    • Throw out food that has an unusual odor, color or texture. 
    • When in doubt, throw it out.

Poisoned? Get Expert Help.

Don't guess what you should do. Get accurate Poison Control answers online or by phone. Both are free and confidential.


or CALL 1-800-222-1222

Get the App!

Download the free


Subscribe to The Poison Post®

The Poison Post® is a free, quarterly e-newsletter delivering poison prevention tips right to your inbox!

The Poison Post

Learn the Poison Prevention Jingles

Learn the Poison Help jingle in English or Spanish. Use these jingles to teach the Poison Control number: 1-800-222-1222. Available for download.


Poison Statistics

2013 outcome stats promo graph

View more statistics