A little old-fashioned common sense is the best way to prepare for Hurricane Irene, according to Woodbury Fire Chief Janet Morgan.
“Fill up your backpack with water bottles, fill up your pots and pans with water, just like you used to do in the old days,” said Morgan.
She also recommends people just stay home.
“If you’re not in imminent danger and you’ve just lost power but no trees are down and there’s not a fire, stay in the house,” Morgan said. “We expect downed trees on the roads and flooding, so it’s best to not be out. Common sense is key.”
Connecticut Light and Power issued its own set of tips. If power goes out, outages can be reported to CL&P by calling 860-947-2000, 800-286-2000 or by visiting its website.
Prepare a storm kit and keep it handy. It should include:
- Flashlights with spare batteries
- A battery-operated radio or TV
- First-aid kit and medications
- Canned, freeze-dried or dehydrated foods
- A manual can opener
- Bottled water
- Baby or pet supplies (if needed)
- Important phone numbers
Have a backup plan for life support equipment.
The Middlebury Police Department and First Selectman Tom Gormley ask that anyone with medical issues that require electricity contact the police department at 203-577-4028 before the storm begins.
A back-up plan for life support equipment
Connecticut Light and Power recommends the plan include:
- An alternate source of electric power such as a battery backup system, an uninterruptible power supply or a properly installed generator for the life support equipment
- Emergency telephone numbers (doctor, fire, police and ambulance)
- A procedure to vacate the home during a prolonged outage
Gov. Dannel Malloy’s office also issued tips:
- Have a whistle to signal for help in the safety kit
- Keep a wrench or pliers handy to turn off utilities
- Identify an out-of-town contact, as it may be easier to make a long distance call than call across town
- Use text messaging if phone calls cannot connect
- Subscribe to alert services. Many communities/states now have systems that will send instant text alerts or e-mails to let people know about bad weather, road closings and other local emergencies.
According to the Connecticut Guide to Emergency Preparedness and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, one should secure the home before the hurricane arrives.
Tape alone does not prevent windows from breaking. The site recommends boarding up windows with 5/8 inch marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install.
Other tips are to:
- Make sure trees and shrubs near the house are well-trimmed.Clear rain gutters and downspouts.
- Strap or clip the roof to the frame structure of the house.
- Keep the refrigerator on the coldest setting.
- Turn off propane tanks.
- Avoid using the phone, except for emergencies.
- Have a supply of water in containers and in the tub.
- Stay tuned to local news networks and radio stations for any hurricane alerts.
- Go to a local shelter or evacuate the home as needed if the National Weather Service issues a hurricane warning.
FEMA recommends evacuating the home if the authorities say it is necessary, one lives in a mobile home, temporary structure or high-rise building, or if one lives on the coast, a floodplain, near a river or on an island waterway or if one feels they are in danger.
- Stay inside and away from windows and glass doors.
- Be wary of lulls in the storm, which could be the eye of the storm.
- Close all doors and secure external doors.Hide in a small, interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level.
- Lie on the floor under a table or other sturdy object.