Hurricane Sandy ravaged the U.S. East Coast earlier this week, taking down power lines and disrupting lives up and down the mid-Atlantic. So it should come as no surprise that supplies for storm “survival kits” were among some of the most purchased goods last week, as stores sold out of bread, batteries, bottled water and (of course) alcohol. But it appears that Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/?_
For example, the site has seen spikes in purchases of home goods like portable gas tanks and gas-powered generators. The Briggs & Stratton 2+ Gallon Gas Tank, for example, had jumped over 900 percent in popularity, making it the fastest-rising item in Amazon's Patio, Lawn & Garden section.
At Honda Generator, retailers said they were seeing heightened interest in both the site’s Honda Portable Generators, as well as those available from other manufacturers at http://www.honda-
SAFETY TIPS FOR PORTABLE GENERATORS
Honda Generator spokesmen said that while portable generators can add comfort or even lifesaving power during an emergency, buyers needed to remember basic portable generator safety tips, including:
* Never use a generator in an attached garage, even with the door open.
* Install carbon monoxide alarms if you’re going to use a generator. If existing CO (or smoke) detectors are more than seven years old, replace them.
* Turn off generators and let them cool down before refueling them. Never refuel a generator while it is running.
* Store fuel for the generator in a container intended for that purpose and correctly labeled. Store them outside of living areas.
* When plugging in appliances, make sure they are plugged directly into the generator or use a heavy-duty outdoor-rated extension cord. Check the cord for cuts, tears and make sure the cord has all three prongs. If connecting the generator to the house wiring, have a qualified electrician install a properly rated transfer switch in accordance with all codes.
* Never plug the generator into a wall outlet. This practice, known as backfeeding, can cause an electrocution risk to utility workers, firefighters and others.
According to the experts at America’s 57 local poison centers, carbon monoxide poisoning is the most common poison-related cause of hospitalization and death in the wake of hurricanes. It is called a “silent killer” because there are no odors or symptoms that signal a problem. When people use generators improperly – too close to homes, in garages or outside bedroom windows – carbon monoxide can seep in and sicken or even kill. Open windows or outside garage doors do not provide adequate ventilation for generators or other gas-powered equipment.
If you experience sleepiness, dizziness, headaches, confusion, weakness or your carbon monoxide alarm sounds, immediately seek fresh air and call your poison center at 1-800-222-1222.