Beware of carbon monoxide poisoning during cold spells

When temperatures drop and electrical power fails from too much demand or from downed lines, don't bring a generator into the house to power portable heaters. Small gas engines, camp stoves, charcoal grills, and other heat-producing devices also can emit carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas that can be deadly.

Symptoms of CO poisoning include persistent, severe headaches, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue.   Beth Ebel, a physician at Harborview Medical Center, says the most worrisome thing about carbon monoxide is that victims often don't get to the hospital emergency room in time to survive.

Here's a list of resources to prepare for the weather:

  • If you or a family you know is struggling in Washington state, call 211 to get help.
  • What to do when your home power goes out
  • What to pack in your car and your home in case of emergency

UW Medicine