As the East Coast slowly wakes up from the nightmarish experience of Hurricane Irene, which ended as Tropical Storm Irene, residents now turn to the painful recovery process while millions remain with out power or transportation.

The storm, which at the time of publication (stay up-to-date), claimed the lives of two dozen individuals and billions in flood damage, may have passed, but in dealing with the recovery process, it’s important to keep safety in mind.

Many households will turn to generators to power lights, stoves and refrigerators. While properly cooking food and keeping it cold is important for family health, make sure to avoid risking carbon monoxide poisoning. Generator exhaust can contain high levels of the odorless gas and can be fatal. See the last recalled generator in our marketplace.

“Don’t create your own disaster in the aftermath of a storm,” said Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Inez Tenenbaum in a statement.

“Never run a generator in or right next to a home. Carbon monoxide is an invisible killer. CO is odorless and colorless and it can kill you and your family in minutes,” she said.

Always run generators and other gas-powered equipment outdoors. The same goes for gas or charcoal powered grills. The units are convenient when the stove doesn’t work; but it’s important to take the appropriate precautions to keep you and your family safe.

For families using candles, the CPSC reminds users to not burn them near flammable materials and to never leave them unattended. See the last recalled candles in our marketplace.

Because of wind and flood damage, be extra cautious around downed power lines and electrical outlets in flood water. If you have standing water in your home, avoid using any electric appliances.

Our thoughts and best wishes go out to those affected by Tropical Storm Irene. Visit the Red Cross for more information on getting help or to see how you can pitch in to help in the relief effort.