Suffolk County Health Department officials are reminding residents to be careful of carbon monoxide poisoning and other potential hazards after the blizzard.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, toxic gas given off whenever fuel or other carbon-based materials are burned. Breathing in high levels of carbon monoxide can poison you, resulting in severe illness or death in minutes.
Immediately after the storm, health officials suggest residents follow these tips to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning:
In the Car
- Make sure your exhaust pipe is free from snow before starting your vehicle. This includes making sure no snow is packed inside the exhaust pipe.
- Do not sit in a parked vehicle with the engine running, unless a window is open.
- Do not leave anyone, especially children or elderly persons, in a parked vehicle with the engine running while shoveling snow.
- If you have any of the symptoms of CO poisoning (headache, dizziness, nausea, etc.), immediately leave your vehicle and seek fresh air.
- If you see someone in an idling vehicle who appears to be unconscious, immediately remove the victim from the vehicle into fresh air and call 911.
In the Home
- Never leave a car running in a garage, even with the garage door open.
- Never run a generator in the home, garage or crawlspace. Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide build-up in the home.
- When running a generator outdoors, keep it away from open windows and doors.
- Never burn charcoal in homes, tents, vehicles, or garages.
- Never install or service combustion appliances without proper knowledge, skills, and tools.
- Never use a gas range, oven or dryer for heating.
- Never put foil on bottom of a gas oven because it interferes with combustion.
- Never operate an unvented gas-burning appliance in a closed room or in a room in which you are sleeping.
- Always have a battery or electric powered CO detector to alert you to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in your home.
In addition, health officials offered these tips for driving outdoors:
- Avoid driving. If you must drive, reduce your speed and try to stay on roads that have been plowed or salted/sanded. Leave a good amount of distance between your car and the one in front of you. Try to avoid sudden braking.
- Dress in layers; wear a warm coat or jacket, hat, mittens and warm insulated boots.
- Doing chores outside in difficult weather conditions can take a toll on your body. Be careful to avoid falling; when shoveling or digging out your car, take a break, and where possible, have a hot beverage. Do not overdo!
- Charge your cell phone and keep it with you when you are outside.
Suffolk Legislature approves new sex offender plan
After years of public outcry on the East End over two residential trailers for homeless sex offenders, the Suffolk County Legislature voted unanimously Thursday to approve County Executive Steve Bellone's new sex offender plan.
Bellone's plan calls for abolishing the current system, a cluster of homeless sex offender trailers in Riverside and Westhampton, in favor of relocating these offenders to county shelters spread throughout Suffolk — with only one offender per facility.
There are currently 1,016 registered sex offenders residing in Suffolk County.
The county executive's eight-point plan also calls for a new address verification system and use of social media and other technology to better alert and notify local communities.
This new sex offender plan is expected to be enacted over the next couple of months. Foley nursing home employees have filed a lawsuit with state courts in effort to block the deal.