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Posted on: July 25, 2020

Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning and other dangers after Hurricane Douglas makes landfall

The County of Maui reminds the public of potential dangers that could arise after Hurricane Douglas makes landfall in Hawaii.

Hurricanes can cause dangerous and destructive high winds, flooding, heavy rain and storm surges. Carbon monoxide poisoning and driving through floodwaters cause injury and death after storms.

Follow these tips to keep yourself and your family safe during and immediately after Hurricane Douglas:

Stay out of flood waters

  • Follow local flood watches, warnings and instructions.
  • Avoid driving through flooded areas, especially when the water is fast moving. As little as six inches of water can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Turn around, don’t drown.

Stay safe during a power outage

  • Avoid carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning after a disaster. Only use a portable generator outdoors in a dry area at least 20 feet away from doors, windows and vents. When using a generator, use a battery-powered or battery backup CO detector in your home.
  • In hot weather, stay cool and drink plenty of fluids to prevent heat-related illness.
  • Avoid downed power lines.
  • NEVER touch a fallen power line. Call Hawaiian Electric to report fallen power lines.
    • For Maui, call (808) 871-7777
    • For Molokai and Lanai, call toll free 1-877-871-8461
  • Do not walk or drive through standing water if downed power lines are in the water.

Keep food and water safe

Food: Unsafe food can make you sick even if it looks, smells, and tastes normal. When in doubt, throw it out.

Throw away the following foods:

  • Food that has an unusual odor, color, or texture. When in doubt, throw it out.
  • Perishable foods (including meat, poultry, fish, eggs and leftovers) in your refrigerator when the power has been off for 4 hours or more.
  • Food not in packages or cans.
  • Canned foods or food containers that are bulging, opened, or damaged. Throw away the food if the container spurts liquid or foam when you open it or the food inside is discolored, is moldy, or smells bad.
  • Packaged food: Throw away food containers with screw-caps, snap-lids, crimped caps, twist caps, flip tops, and snap-open, and home-canned foods because they cannot be disinfected. Throw away food in cardboard containers, including juice/milk/baby formula boxes.


  • After an emergency, especially after flooding, drinking water may not be available or safe to drink.
  • Safe water for drinking, cooking, and personal hygiene includes bottled, boiled, or treated water.
  • Do not use water you suspect or have been told is contaminated to wash dishes, brush your teeth, wash and prepare food, wash your hands, make ice, or make baby formula.

For more information and updates on Hurricane Douglas in Maui County, visit


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