For many Oklahomans, Monday evening brought with it a line of severe storms. Fierce bouts of rain, high winds and even some reported tornadic activity were among heavy-hitters experienced overnight.

For many Oklahomans, Monday evening brought with it a line of severe storms. Fierce bouts of rain, high winds and even some reported tornadic activity were among heavy-hitters experienced overnight.

Though tornado threats have a tendency to garner the most attention, there are many dangers that may be overlooked as storms roll through.

The severity of the weather left more than 100,000 residences and businesses across the state without power.

According to the OG&E website, as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, almost 56,000 residents were still without power — nearly 170 of them in the Shawnee area.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) issued a list of safety tips to prevent illness and injury in the days to come.

Scott Sproat, director of the OSDH Emergency Preparedness and Response Service, said it’s important to be mindful of food safety when there has been a loss of power for more than four hours.

“Any refrigerated foods such as meats, dairy, eggs or leftovers should be discarded to prevent food-borne illnesses,” Sproat said. “The same is also true for any food which may have come in contact with storm or flood water; when in doubt, throw it out.”

Frozen foods in a freezer can usually be kept up to 48 hours without power. A frozen product that has thawed should not be refrozen — it should be used immediately or thrown away. Anyone who has questions about medication being spoiled from water or lack of refrigeration should contact a health care provider.

Another primary concern during a power outage, he said, is carbon monoxide poisoning from alternate sources of power such as generators, grills and camp stoves.

OSDH Emergency Manager Darrell Eberly said these devices should be used outdoors — never inside a home, garage or basement.

“Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas found in combustion fumes produced by small engines, stoves and gas ranges,” Eberly said. “Improper use of generators can cause accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, which can lead to loss of consciousness and even death.”

Health officials also encourage a tetanus booster for those involved with cleanup of debris, tree limbs or other objects which may cause a puncture wound.

For more information, contact a local county health department or visit www.ready.gov or www.cdc.gov/disasters. Preparedness information also is available in English, Spanish and American Sign Language by visiting the OSDH YouTube channel and selecting the Preparedness playlist.

Shawnee/Pottawatomie County Emergency Management Director Don Lynch said having a safety plan, multiple ways to receive weather bulletins and a family disaster supplies kit will help residents weather storms when they arrive.

“This time of year it is important for people to have a safety plan and to be weather aware,” he said.