Just a little over a year ago, through and in its wake left a list of casualties from the trees it took down, to the people it left powerless for up to ten days. September is National Preparedness month and with hurricane season in Connecticut still underway (June 1 through November 30), this is a good time to remind residents how to best prepare their homes and their families for emergencies.
The Ridgefield Emergency Operations Team, organized in 2007 by career officers and volunteer members of the Department of Emergency Management, a component of the Ridgefield Fire Department, recommends that residents do the following:
- Be Informed: Understand the potential dangers in this part of the country, which often include extended power outages. Have important phone numbers on hand and list your own numbers with CT Alert to receive town emergency Everbridge notices. (www.ct.gov/ctalert or 860-920-3337.) Don’t forget to list your cell phones too. Know the location of Message Boards if landlines, cell, and internet are unavailable.
- Build a Kit: Create an emergency kit, which should include important papers and medications. For a complete list of items to keep in your kit, go to www.ready.gov. There are numerous ready-made kits also available for purchase if you don’t want to build your own. Store emergency supplies, water, and non-perishable food, enough for at least three days. Plan for those with special needs, children, infants, and seniors and don’t forget about pets. They too need food and water. Keep gas tanks filled and some extra cash on hand in case ATMs and banks aren’t open.
- Make a Plan: Plan ahead where your family will meet in an emergency and talk about how you will communicate, particularly if internet, phone and cell service are unavailable. Have a battery-powered radio with extra batteries on hand with a list of local radio and television stations on hand. Learn how to shut off the gas and water in your homes and how to use equipment such as generators safely.
- Get Involved: Consider joining CERT (Community Emergency Response Team). Organize your neighborhoods to check on each other and to have a neighborhood spokesperson who can liaison with town officials.
For more information on how to plan for an emergency or how to get involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.