Housing is near and dear to us here at GreenHomes, and even closer is safe housing. Hurricane Sandy has significantly changed what many have taken for granted just as we go into colder weather in the Northeast. Tens of thousands have found themselves without a home because of the storm. Many more have found themselves with extensive damage to their homes and a long struggle to recover.
There are many ways to support efforts to support those affected, the Red Cross is collecting donations, and Feeding America has been working to provide food and water for example.
It is also important to keep in mind how to stay safe as people return to their homes. The CDC has some useful information about what to look for when coming home to water damage, the dangers of electrical issues, and mold. For many our homes are no longer the safe havens they once were.
Losing power means often means relying on a generator, which is a great concern since they are one of the leading reasons for CO poisoning. I often preach about the importance of checking heating and cooking equipment, having a CO alarm in your home, but when all goes wrong and we need a generator just to get by, it is even more important to make sure it will be helping not harming us.
The dangers of unvented fireplaces also true for generators in your home or garage. A garage or enclosed porch may be more connected to your home than you think. When using a generator; always make sure there is enough fresh air to dilute any of the exhaust fumes. Keep them out of your homes!
Help the people in need; stay safe please, no matter where you are!
Photo of the New Jersey coast from the National Guard