Editor's Note: U.S. Rep. Jim Himes submitted the following notice to Connecticut residents; he has more information about storm safety on his webpage.
As we wrap up our summer vacations and breaks and prepare to send our children back to school, there's another important preparation we should remember: storm preparations. As you may know, August and September are among the most dangerous storm months, with hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods more likely to occur across New England than at any other time of the year.
I want to provide as much information as possible to ensure you have the necessary tools and resources to keep your families and homes safe. I have compiled a number of helpful links and resources from federal agencies and have created a webpage where you can find more in-depth information on how to prepare various natural disasters.
The most important things you can do to minimize damage and keep you and your loved ones safe are to STAY INFORMED and BE PREPARED for multiple scenarios.
The State of Connecticut uses the CT Alert Emergency Notification System to notify residents of emergencies. This system allows you to receive updates on your cell phone or via email and will help ensure you are notified of changing weather, evacuation orders, and other timely information, even if you lose power or do not have radio access.
Click here to register for CT Alert or read more about CT Alert here.
Additionally, your town or city may have a separate, more localized emergency notification system. Check your town's official website. Links to town websites can be found here.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) tracks disasters that are classified as major emergencies on its website. You can check Connecticut's emergency status here.
Every family should agree on a plan to respond to any potential natural disaster. The following outline can help you craft such a plan. FEMA has many helpful guidelines and recommendations on how best to prepare for hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, and more.
What are the different situations you could face, what supplies do you need, how will you respond to different scenarios, and how will you stay in contact with your family?
- Discuss the type of hazards that could affect your family. Know your home's vulnerability to storm surge, flooding, and wind.
- Locate a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each natural disaster. In certain circumstances the safest areas may not be your home but within your community.
- Determine escape routes from your home and places to meet.
- Craft an evacuation plan should circumstances require you leave town.
- Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact. All family members should check in with this contact at designated times.
- Make a plan now for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate. Many hotels do not allow pets.
- Post emergency telephone numbers by your phones, such as your local emergency management office, and make sure your children know how and when to call 911.
- Create a Disaster Supply Kit and stock it with non-perishable emergency food, water, supplies, flashlights, batteries, and first aid necessities.
- Use a battery-powered radio to stay-up-to-date, and make sure you have fresh batteries.
For more information on how to prepare, put together a disaster kit or develop an evacuation plan,visit my website.
While I am happy to provide further assistance in any way I can, please remember that your local first responders and Emergency Operations Centers will be able to provide the best assistance and information in any dangerous situation.