As Hurricane Sandy sweeps up the East Coast and prepares for a likely and intensive impact on Connecticut and southern New England beginning early Monday, state Senator Carlo Leone (D-Stamford) today urged area residents to prepare for the storm by following the advice of state and federal emergency experts.
“It’s ironic that this latest storm, which forecasters have dubbed a ‘frankenstorm,’ is due to impact Connecticut exactly one year after that devastating October 2011 snow storm which left so much of the state without power for a week or more,” Sen. Leone said. “I know people still have bad memories of that storm and its impact, so it’s absolutely essential that we prepare the best we can for this new threat.”
Sen. Leone said the state Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security has updated information regarding Hurricane Sandy, including Connecticut’s preparedness information; visit ct.gov/hurricane for important emergency information.
You can visit www.ctalert.gov to sign up for CT Alert Emergency Notification System (ENS). Other than your land line, you can also sign up to get notifications through your cell phone, e-mail, text message, or fax, among other communication devices. You can also check to see if your town participates in the state’s Reverse 9-1-1 system.
In the event of power outages, have the phone numbers to your local electric provider:
CL&P Storm Center: 860-947-2000
United Illuminating Storm Center: 1-800-722-5584
Each town and city is required to have an emergency preparedness plan, including set evacuation routes. That information and more can be found by using the following links:
Sen. Leone suggests that, in advance f the storm, homeowners should:
- Fully fuel all vehicles
- Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
- If you have a boat, determine how and where to secure it.
- Turn off propane tanks.
- Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water.
- Remember your pets! They should be kept indoors, with a collar and identification and ample food and water.
- Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
- Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows, another option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
- Close all interior doors—secure and brace external doors.
He also suggests compiling a family emergency kit, including:
- At least one gallon of water per person for 3 to 7 days
- Food to last 3 to 7 days, including: non-perishable packaged or canned food and juices; foods for infants or the elderly; a non-electric can opener; cooking tools and fuel; and paper plates and plastic utensils
- Seasonal clothing, rain gear, and sturdy shoes
- First aid kit, including medicines and prescription drugs
- Flashlight with batteries
- Battery-operated radio and a NOAA weather radio
- Fully charged cell phone with extra battery and a traditional (not cordless) telephone set
- Cash (with some small bills) and credit cards, since banks and ATMs may not be available for extended periods
- Toys, books and games
- Important documents in a waterproof container or watertight resealable plastic bag, including insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc.
Finally, Sen. Leone notes that Connecticut’s price-gouging laws take effect once the governor has declared a state of emergency. Under the provisions of this pro-consumer law, no one may increase the price of any retail item in an area where the governor has declared an emergency. If consumers believe a business is charging an unreasonable price, or has raised its price to take advantage of the emergency, they can contact the state Department of Consumer Protection at 1-800-842-2649.