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Generator safety tips

When the power goes out a lot of people will crank up the generators, so be careful.

NEW ORLEANS — Hurricane Ida is steadily intensifying and is expected to make landfall as a Category 4 hurricane near Terrebonne Parish.

Conditions will begin to deteriorate Sunday with the worst of the storm expected Sunday afternoon going into Monday morning. 

Several parishes have ordered voluntary evacuations for residents while parishes with residents in low-lying areas and outside of levee protection have ordered mandatory evacuations. 

RELATED: List: Evacuation Orders issued ahead of Hurricane Ida

"What I am told is that there is no way this storm will be weakening," New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said. "What we know is today — right now — everyone has to make a decision to leave voluntarily, which I am recommending... or stay on sight and hunker down  ... in a safe space."

High winds and heavy rain are expected to knock out the power during Hurricane Ida and a generator can help restore power to your home. State officials are warning residents to follow generator safety tips:

  • Always follow manufacturer instructions when setting up a generator.
  • Never use a generator inside your home or garage.
  • Only use a generator outside in a well-ventilated area. 
  • Place your generator at least 20 feet away from your home.
  • Double-check that the exhaust is pointed away from any doors or vents.

It’s important to take precautions when operating a generator because they produce carbon monoxide gas. Breathing in too much carbon monoxide could cause fainting or death. According to the CDC, more than 20,000 Americans visit the emergency room and more than 400 die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning each year. 

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are often flu-like and include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion