Power outages can pose a number of health threats. Without electricity it can be difficult to heat your home or cook safely, keep food refrigerated or obtain drinking water. The fact sheets on this page provide information that can help keep you safe.
Purifying drinking water in emergencies
Power outages can lead to drinking water system contamination. Boil your drinking water until your water provider tells you the water is okay.
Generators and carbon monoxide poisoning
During a power outage, keeping your family warm and fed are your first priorities, but it can turn deadly if you use a generator incorrectly or try to cook indoors. Learn about carbon monoxide poisoning and how to avoid it in your home.
Using a generator safely
Carbon monoxide poisoning
Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that cannot be seen or smelled and can kill a person in minutes. Hundreds of people die accidentally every year from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by generators, grills and other appliances that are not used properly or that are malfunctioning.
Carbon monoxide poisoning fact sheet
- English (illustrated version)
- Spanish (illustrated version) (PDF)
- Chinese (illustrated version) (PDF)
- Korean (illustrated version) (PDF)
- Russian (illustrated version) (PDF)
- Somali (PDF)
- Ukrainian (PDF)
- Vietnamese (illustrated version) (PDF)
- Large Type (PDF)
Information about carbon monoxide from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Fact sheet available in 11 languages.
- Carbon Monoxide Prevention Guidelines
Fact sheet available in 17 languages.