severe weather

Hurricane Irma damage: What to do during, after a power outage

Published: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 @ 11:53 AM

Irma Aftermath In Florida

When severe weather knocks out electric power to a home it can be more than just inconvenient.
Hurricane Irma moved through the Southeast last weekend leaving millions in the dark. As of Tuesday morning, more than 7 million people in five states have lost their electric power.
What do you do if you find yourself without electricity? What are the dangers? Here are a few tips from
During a Power Outage: 
Only use flashlights for emergency lighting, candles can cause fires.

Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. If food is in the refrigerator or freezer more than that, throw it out. Do not take chances with spoiled food.

Take steps to remain cool. Consider going to a movie theater, shopping mall or “cooling shelter” that may be open in your community. If you remain at home, move to the lowest level of your home, since cool air falls. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Drink plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty.

Turn off or disconnect appliances and other equipment in case of a momentary power “surge” that can damage computers and other devices. Consider adding surge protectors.

Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home's electrical system. Click here to for generator safety tips.

Do not use cooking grills or fuel-powered generators indoors. They emit carbon monoxide. You and your family can die from carbon monoxide fumes.

Evacuate immediately if you smell gas.


Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment, including sensitive electronics.

Turn off or disconnect any appliances (like stoves), equipment or electronics you were using when the power went out. When power comes back on, surges or spikes can damage equipment.

Leave one light turned on so you’ll know when the power comes back on.

After a Power Outage

Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40° F or warmer for 2 hours or more. If the food has an unusual odor, color or texture, throw it out.

Contact a pharmacist or your doctor if you’re concerned about medications having spoiled.

Restock your emergency kit with fresh batteries, canned foods and other supplies 

CDC warns pools, hot tubs, water parks are hotbed for disease outbreaks

Published: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 10:45 PM

The CDC is warning about the risks of parasites and bacteria that could be lurking in hotel pools and hot tubs.
The CDC is warning about the risks of parasites and bacteria that could be lurking in hotel pools and hot tubs.(Pixabay)

You may want to think twice about jumping in that hotel pool or taking the kids to a popular water park nearby. 

>> Read more trending news 

According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, contaminated recreational waters led to 493 reported disease outbreaks between 2000 and 2014.

These outbreaks, commonly caused by pathogens or chemicals, resulted in at least 27,219 cases and eight deaths. About half of the outbreaks started between June and August.

Public health officials examined data from 46 states and Puerto Rico for the report and found that hotel pools and hot tubs contributed to about one-third (32 percent) of the outbreaks. Public parks came in second (23 percent), then club/rec facilities (14 percent) and water parks (11 percent).

While no significant trend was observed after 2007, the CDC said outbreaks caused by the parasite Cryptosporidium, also known as crypto, increased 25 percent per year between 2000 and 2006.

>> Related: 11 water safety tips all parents need to know

Of the 363 outbreaks with a microorganism as the culprit, 58 percent were classified as Crypto.

Crypto can spread when people swallow something that’s come into contact with an ill person’s feces, such as pool water contaminated with diarrhea, according to the CDC.

Swallowing just a mouthful of water contaminated with Crypto can make otherwise healthy people sick for up to three weeks with watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, or vomiting, and can lead to dehydration,” the CDC states on its website.

The parasite is highly resistant to pool chemicals aimed at cleaning the waters, including chlorine and bromine.

The CDC recommends anyone, adults or children, who has experienced diarrhea should wait two weeks before getting in pools, hot tubs or other public water containers and parks. 

Additionally, avoid swallowing water when swimming, rinse off in the shower before entering the water and take children on bathroom breaks often.

>> Related: 9 swimming holes that'll make you forget the pools are closed

Unlike Crypto, parasites Legionella and Pseudomonas can both be effectively controlled by halogens (chlorine, bromine) if the water is properly dosed. Unfortunately, 20 percent of public pools and hot tubs aren’t properly dosed with disinfectant.

Legionella can lead to a pneumonia-like condition known as Legionnaire’s disease or a flu-like condition called Pontiac fever. Legionella is transmitted when aerosolized water droplets often produced by hot tubs and spa jets are inhaled.

The number of outbreaks caused by Legionella increased 14 percent per year, according to the CDC report, but only accounted for 3 percent of the 363 identified microorganism outbreaks.

Pseudomonas, transmitted when skin comes in contact with contaminated water, may lead to rashes near the ear canal and otitis externa (or swimmer’s ear). Pseudomonas accounted for about 4 percent of the 363 outbreaks.

7 Simple Summer Safety Tips

2 victims of cougar attack identified, friends grieving death of avid cyclist

Published: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 10:15 PM

1 Dead, 1 Injured in Mountain Lion Attack

Members of Seattle's biking community are grieving the death of a 32-year-old man killed by a cougar as he and a friend biked near North Bend on Saturday.

>> Read more trending news 

Now, wildlife officials are trying to determine why the encounter with the cougar turned deadly. This is the first fatal cougar attack in the state in nearly 100 years.

The cyclist who was killed has been identified as S.J. Brooks, who moved to the Seattle area a few years ago from Boston. His friend Isaac Sederbaum, who managed to escape the big cat's jaws, is recovering at Harborview Medical Center

Sederbaum's grandmother in New York said the family is concerned about any diseases the cougar might have had.

The family is grateful for the care Sederbaum is receiving and relieved that he is recovering, but news of the attack is devastating for those who know both men, especially those who knew Brooks. 

Tyler Gillies was hard at work at G & O Family Cyclery shop in Greenwood the day after the unimaginable tragedy took place. He knew and worked with S.J. Brooks for a couple of years and grew to be a dear friend.

"He moved out here from Boston not too long ago and he just ate it up out here, loved the Pacific Northwest, outdoors," Gillies said.

Gillies said Brooks was an avid cyclist and had been leading cycling trips for the last year. He would have been familiar with the Lake Hancock forest area where he and Sederbaum were riding Saturday.

"I have so many friends that ride out there all the time," Gillies said. "I do the same thing myself. It is a perfectly safe and wonderful thing to do. And S.J. was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and I'm just crushed."

"I'm just going to miss the heck out of S.J.," Gillies said.

The cougar was trapped and euthanized after the attack. 

Capt. Alan Myers, of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said that is standard protocol.

>> Related: 1 dead in mountain lion attack in Washington, investigators say

"Absolutely," he said. "An animal that attacks and kills human beings is going to be euthanized."

Myers said today that the cougar, a male, weighing 100 pounds, was emaciated. The department is trying to figure out why he so uncharacteristically attacked two humans.

Myers said the cougar is being transported to the veterinary lab at Washington State University, where the necropsy will be performed.

The two victims of the fatal cougar attack near North Bend, Washington, have been identified. Wildlife officials say the male cougar was emaciated when it attacked the men.(Pixabay)

Jada Pinkett Smith talks hair loss: ‘I was literally shaking in fear’

Published: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 9:59 PM

Jada Pinkett Smith revealed she struggles with hair loss in a new episode of her Facebook Watch show
Jada Pinkett Smith revealed she struggles with hair loss in a new episode of her Facebook Watch show "Red Table Talk." (Photo by Sonia Recchia/Getty Images)(Sonia Recchia/Getty Images/Getty Images)

Jada Pinkett Smith typically comes across as confident and fearless, but she recently opened up about her experience with hair loss as a woman, one that left her covering her hair with turbans.

“A lot of people have been asking why I’ve been wearing turbans,” Pinkett Smith, 46, said on an episode of her Facebook Watch show “Red Table Talk.” “Well, I haven’t talked about it. It’s not easy to talk about, but I am going to talk about it.”

In the Facebook Watch show, Pinkett Smith speaks with her daughter, Willow, and her mother, Adrienne, and they have candid conversation about their life experiences.

>> Read more trending news 

People reported that, in the latest episode, Pinkett Smith said that one day she saw handfuls of hair in her hand.

“It was terrifying when it first started. I was in the shower one day and had just handfuls of hair in my hands and I was just like, ‘Oh my God, am I going bald?’” she said.

“It was one of those times in my life where I was literally shaking in fear. That’s why I cut my hair, and why I continue to cut it.”

Pinkett Smith has recently been photographed with an asymmetrical bob that covers most of her hair line and a scarf around her head with hair poking out on top, or covering her hair altogether with a scarf.

She admitted that the process of dealing with hair loss was a challenge, and although she’s seen multiple specialists, a cause for her hair loss has not been determined.

“My hair has been a big part of me,” Pinkett Smith said. “Taking care of my hair has been a beautiful ritual, and having the choice to have hair or not. And then one day to be, like, ‘Oh my God, I might not have that choice anymore.’”

“I’ve gotten every kind of test there is to have,” she said. “They don’t know why.”

Pinkett Smith said she took a spiritual approach to come to terms with her hair loss.

“I really had to put it into a spiritual perspective, like the higher power takes so much from people. People are out here with cancer. People have sick children. I watch the higher power take things every day,” she said.

“When my hair is wrapped, I feel like a queen,” she said.

Florida woman smiles in mugshot during DUI arrest after fatal crash

Published: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 9:39 AM

Florida Woman Smiles In Mugshot During Dui Arrest After Fatal Crash

Marion County woman was all smiles in her mug shot when she was arrested on DUI charges after a crash that killed a 60-year-old woman last week, the Florida Highway Patrol said. 

>> Read more trending news

Angenette Marie Welk, 44, was driving east in a 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche on US-27 just before noon last Thursday when she rear-ended a car stopped at the intersection with NW 60th Avenue, the crash report states. 

Troopers said Welk rear-ended a 2017 Hyundai Elantra, killing Sandra Clarkston of Sarasota. 

Welk was originally charged with DUI with serious bodily injury, but troopers upgraded her charges to include DUI manslaughter Saturday.