Hurricane Clean-Up: Use Caution with Outdoor Power Equipment

In the aftermath of the hurricanes, OPEI is warning residents of the Gulf coast states and other storm-prone areas to follow basic safety steps when using outdoor power equipment for storm clean up. While outdoor power equipment can be a handy tool to accelerate the clean-up process, users are urged to:

  • Read the operator’s manual before operating equipment
  • Keep children and pets away from work areas
  • Dress properly for the job: wear proper footwear, snug clothing, gloves and eye/ear protection
  • Clear area before starting, secure footing, plan retreat path
  • Handle gas carefully and shut off engine when refueling
  • Keep hands and feet away from any moving parts
  • Use appropriate tool to clear any jams and only after shutting off the engine
  • Do not operate when tired or under the influence of alcohol or medication
  • Operate only in well-ventilated areas. Do not operate power generators in enclosed areas. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can concentrate in enclosed areas and cause serious injury or death
  • Do not overreach
  • Chainsaw-users be aware of “kick-back,” a violent reactive force propelling the cutting bar back toward the operator

Spread the word on safe use of outdoor power equipment. OPEI encourages you to send this information to friends and neighbors in affected areas. For more key safety materials, visit

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