• Never bring charcoal grills indoors.  Burning charcoal produces deadly carbon monoxide. 

  • When cooking outdoors with a gas grill, check the air tubes that lead into the burner for any blockage from insects, spiders, or food grease.  Check grill hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes, and leaks.  Make sure there are no sharp bends in the hose or tubing. If a leak is detected, immediately turn off the gas at the tank and don't attempt to light the grill until the leak is fixed.


  • To heat inside a tent or camper, use one of the new portable heaters that are equipped with an oxygen depletion sensor (ODS).  If oxygen levels start to fall inside the tent or camper, the ODS automatically shuts down the heater before it can produce deadly levels of carbon monoxide (CO).  Do not attempt to use alternative sources of heat or power to warm a tent or camper.  Traditional camping heaters, charcoal grills, camping lanterns, and gas generators also can cause CO poisoning.


  • Install window guards to prevent children from falling out of open windows. Guards should be installed in children's bedrooms, parents' bedrooms, and other rooms where young children spend time.  Or, install window stops that permit windows to open no more than 4 inches.  Whenever possible, open windows from the top, not the bottom. Keep furniture away from windows to discourage children from climbing near windows.


  • Plan just enough so there are no leftovers.

  • Choose fully cooked food and eat within a couple of hours.

  • Keep all food in a cooler until ready to eat.

  • Avoid using dairy products such as mayonnaise which spoil quickly.

  • Any food left outside for more than an hour should be discarded.

  • Avoid salty foods and sodas, which may increase thirst.


By car: 

  • Check and maintain tire pressure and change the oil before traveling.  Check the coolant/antifreeze mixture with a simple and inexpensive antifreeze tester, available at all auto parts stores.  Inspect the belts and hoses.  Inspect the wiper blades.  Check the battery.

  • Prepare an emergency kit for vehicle.  Include flashlight, flares and a first-aid kit, jumper cables, jug of water, basic tools (wrenches, ratchet/socket set, screwdrivers, pliers or Vise-Grips, etc.)

  • Pack smart.  Even out the load from side to side, and in a pickup or SUV, keep the heaviest items as close to the center of the vehicle as possible for optimal handling.  Don't exceed the vehicle's payload limit.

  • Avoid fatigue.  Drowsy driving is one of the leading causes of highway accidents. Get a good night's rest before traveling.  Switch drivers every hour or two if possible.  Pull over at a safe spot, switch on hazard lights and rest for a few minutes as needed.  

  • Significantly reduce speed and make sure mirrors are generously sized and properly located when towing.  Check owner’s manual to ensure vehicle is properly equipped to handle a trailer hitch, tongue weight, and load of the trailer.  Do not overload vehicle's trunk or cargo area.

International travel:

  • Consult with health-care provider well in advance of the planned date of departure and make sure routine vaccinations are up to date.  For further information visit the Travel Notice section of the CDC Travelers’ Health website (