US After the hurricane, the dangers are still lurking — inside your home

02:01  14 september  2017
02:01  14 september  2017 Source:   USA TODAY SPORTS

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  Powerful Hurricane Irma hits first Caribbean islands <p>The most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history has made its first landfall in the islands of the northeast Caribbean.</p>The National Weather Service said the eye of Hurricane Irma passed over Barbuda around 1:47 a.m. Residents said over local radio that phone lines went down as the eye passed.

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs. After the hurricane , the dangers are still lurking — inside your home . Susan Miller, USA TODAY Published 3:06 p.m. ET Sept.

Jody Oggs LaFleur has an urgent message for people returning to clean up their homes after the floods caused by Hurricane Harvey: wear a mask. Ms LaFleur had no idea that the fungus was lurking inside her mother’s home , and when she finally got her diagnosis from an infectious disease

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When homeowners survive a beast like Irma, they breathe easy after the brutal winds and gushing storm surge have moved on.

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More: After the hurricane , the dangers are still lurking — inside your home . Overall, county officials reported eight deaths related to Irma, although the exact causes were not released.

But be wary, safety experts say: The post-hurricane period is laced with danger for returning and recovering residents — and the darkest menace may be inside your house.

One person died Wednesday and three were hospitalized for carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator being used inside a home, Daytona Beach Police said. Two of the injured were being moved to a hyperbaric oxygen chamber.

Overall in the Hurricane Irma aftermath, at least five people have died and more than a dozen have been treated for breathing carbon monoxide fumes from generators in the Orlando, Miami and Daytona Beach areas.

Authorities have opened a criminal probe into the deaths of eight nursing home residents in Hollywood, Fla., who died of apparent heat-related causes after their facility lost air conditioning. Investigators say they haven't ruled anything out, including carbon monoxide from generators.

Dozens of dogs abandoned, left unable to escape Irma

  Dozens of dogs abandoned, left unable to escape Irma Authorities in south Florida may pursue felony charges against people who abandoned their animals as Hurricane Irma approached the Florida peninsula. Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control director Dianne Sauve said the agency recovered roughly 40 dogs in the days before Irma made landfall in Florida. Some were tied up, others were in pens or in enclosed yards, unable to escape. She said such abandonment is one of the worst things someone can do to their pet, saying "There is absolutely no excuse for doing that." On Sunday morning, the Florida Department of Public Health reiterated the dangers posed when pets are abandoned during a storm. Sauve said the agency will pursue felony animal cruelty charges if they are able to gather enough evidence and find and identify a pet's owners, which can be difficult. The agency's shelter also took in about 40 other cats and dogs relinquished by their owners. Sauve said that's not unusual, but the number of surrenders is higher than in previous storms. "These are things that are not unexpected during a situation like this," she said, adding there are two pet-friendly shelters in Palm Beach County. "It's always disappointing. Our goal is to keep pets and people together." Read more: Why Florida zoos aren't evacuating their animals Read more: 300 Miami monkeys ride out Hurricane Irma at Monkey Jungle She stresses people not give up on their pets as Irma moves up the Florida peninsula.

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"I would consider carbon monoxide a larger potential hazard at this point," says Mike Bidwell, spokesperson for Neighborly, a home services group. "People who are unaware of the dangers of using generators in an enclosed space often underestimate how easily and quickly carbon monoxide poisoning can happen."

Residents who live on Black Creek in Middleburg, Fla., survey the severe flooding caused by Hurricane Irma. The creek is usually known to rise, but this year has surpassed historic levels rising to about 31 feet.© Kelly Jordan, USA TODAY Residents who live on Black Creek in Middleburg, Fla., survey the severe flooding caused by Hurricane Irma. The creek is usually known to rise, but this year has surpassed historic levels rising to about 31 feet.

During power outages, homeowners often rely on generators for cooling and cooking. But using a generator in an enclosed space such as a garage or camper can have dire consequences for people and pets when the CO builds up, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

Carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas that causes about 400 deaths a year, can quickly lead to a loss of consciousness and death, the CDC says. The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, weakness and confusion.

Manager of nursing home where 8 died has been charged before

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(Getty Images). After all these years – long since the dangers of asbestos became common knowledge and use of the fire-resistant mineral decreased drastically – health experts As with work inside the home , hire a properly trained, licensed professionals to ensure proper asbestos removal.

But lurking behind every lighted tree, perfectly tied ribbon and even inside your grandmother’s scrumptious green bean casserole, are hidden dangers and The bottoms of freshly cut trees begin to sap up immediately after the cut, making it more difficult for the tree to retain water as it normally would.

"Please do not use propane inside the house or garage," Daytona Police warned. "Must be 15 feet from home."

Generators should not be run in any type of enclosed structure — even if doors and windows are open, the CDC says — and not less than 20 feet from windows, doors and vents.

Venting for gas appliances such as water heaters could also be compromised from wind damage, which could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, Bidwell says.

More: Six dead at Florida nursing home that lost power during Hurricane Irma

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Other dangers:

Electric shocks and gas explosions: People entering their flooded home for the first time need to be vigilant, Bidwell says. "If there is standing water in the home, the main switch at the meter should be switched off until the water is out and an electrician can inspect the building," he says. Gas should also be shut off to prevent explosions.

Water contamination: Storm-battered homes are often saturated with unsanitary water, often called "black water," that contains human and animal waste and other harmful bacteria. Residents may need tetanus shots, and furnishings often have to be replaced.

Mold growth: Act fast when it comes to  mold, the Federal Emergency Management Agency advises, especially if you suffer from allergies or asthma. Mold and mildew can start growing within 24 hours after a flood and can seep into spaces large and small from the attic to crawl spaces to the basement.

If you can't clean and dry, then discard, FEMA says — even those beloved toys or family treasures. Items that more easily trap mold: carpeting, wood and upholstered furniture and other porous materials.

For residents of the hardest-hit regions such as the Keys, Bidwell has this advice: "It could be some time before true reparations are able to begin. In the meantime, try to get as much water out of the home or building as possible" but seek professional help. "It will be nearly impossible for a homeowner to detect moisture in discreet locations, which could cause further damage down the line."

Contributing: The Associated Press

Follow Miller on Twitter @susmiller

Hurricane Maria left over 15 dead in Dominica: prime minister .
Hurricane Maria left more than 15 people dead in hard-hit Dominica, the small Caribbean island's Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit announced on Thursday. The toll from Dominica brings the overall number of confirmed deaths caused by Hurricane Maria to 18, including two in Guadeloupe and one in Puerto Rico."So far, we would have buried in excess of 15 people," Skerrit told a television network of Antigua and Barbuda, a neighboring country."If there (are) no other fatalities, it is a miracle," he said.

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