Your safety is my top priority. With Hurricane Sandy potentially on course to hit New England in the coming days, I wanted to provide as much information as possible to ensure that you have the necessary tools to keep your families, homes, and businesses safe in the event that Connecticut is affected. I have compiled the following checklist with resources from federal agencies1 and have created a webpage where you can find more in-depth information on how to prepare for the coming storm.
As we learned last year with Hurricane Irene, power outages resulting from the storm could last for days. Please charge flashlights, phones, and other devices and make sure you have extra batteries. My office has reached out to Connecticut Light & Power to encourage them to better prepare for possible outages this year. I will do my best to keep you up-to-date with all the information I receive should significant outages occur. While I will send email messages as power and information allow, I strongly encourage you to follow my Twitter feed, where I have the best capacity to send quick, up-to-date messages. You can see the feed at www.twitter.com/jahimes or follow me @jahimes.
In the meantime, the most important things you can do to minimize damage and keep you and your loved ones safe are to stay informed and prepare 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's email or text message updates.
Every family should put a plan in place to respond to the upcoming storm. The following outline will help you craft a plan. Once you have reviewed the information below, click on the links or visit my emergency preparedness webpage for more information on what to do, what to have, and how to respond.
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 hurricane hazard. 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 on changing conditions during the storm, and make sure you have fresh batteries.
For more information on how to prepare, put together a disaster kit, develop an evacuation plan, and learn how to receive up-to-date information on the changing weather situation, visit my website at http://himes.house.gov/be-prepared-hurricane-sandy.
Over the next few days, I will be staying in close contact with the Connecticut Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, the Connecticut Department of Public Safety, and your local officials. 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.