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Last week, high winds in southeastern Michigan left 800,000 homes and businesses without power. Some homeowners and businesses went five days without power; some areas are still not restored.

Today, nearly 100,000 are without power in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, as a late winter storm brought a mix of snow and sleet along with high winds, to the area.

In the aftermath of the massive power outage in my home state and during the one affecting the East Coast now, Lawsuit Financial encourages its readers to think safety first when a power outage affects you. That includes preparing a storm kit, charging electronics, and exercising extreme caution when using portable generators and other heating and cooking devices. In an emergency, these devices offer lifesaving benefits, but they can also be very dangerous.


  • Portable generators emit deadly carbon monoxide and many heating and cooking devices use open flames or very hot elements.
  • Never use a generator in an enclosed or partially enclosed area. Generators should be placed in a well-ventilated area.
  • Fuel should be stored safely outside.
  • Before refueling a generator, turn it off and let it cool down. Gasoline spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.
  • Keep the generator dry.
  • Never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet. This can cause electrocution to utility workers and neighbors on the same transformer.


  • Plug appliances directly into the generator or use a heavy duty, outdoor-rated extension cord.
  • Don’t try to heat your home with a gas stove or oven, even for a few hours. Deadly carbon monoxide gases can build up without notice.

Carbon Monoxide Detector:

  • Install carbon monoxide detectors. Test it frequently and replace dead batteries. Remember that you cannot smell or see carbon monoxide.

Mark Bello is the CEO and General Counsel of Lawsuit Financial Corporation, a pro-justice lawsuit funding company.

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