Hurricane season is in full swing, and while the forecast currently does not currently show risk for Connecticut or the Northeast, we are urging residents to take precautions and refresh their personal and family preparedness plans. The risk for tropical storms and hurricanes extends into November – now is the time to make a plan and gather essential items in case of emergency.
Tropical storms and hurricanes are a fact of life in our region of the country. Hurricanes and tropical storms don’t only affect people living along the coast. They can still cause damage even if you live hundreds of miles from the shore. If you’re in an area where these types of events are a risk, you need a plan. Even if there’s no risk of a hurricane or tropical storm right now, make sure you and your family are prepared.
There are several, quick, low cost steps residents can take to prepare for hurricanes or other emergencies:
- Stock up on emergency supplies for your home and car. Make sure your items are packed in bags and ready to go in case you have to evacuate. Visit East Hartford’s Plan 9 Campaign website to learn about 9 essential items you shouldn’t leave home without. For a list of hurricane specific supplies and preparations, visit the CDC hurricane preparedness website or the National Weather Service Hurricane Safety website.
- Write down emergency phone numbers and keep them near every phone in your house or on the refrigerator. Program them into your cell phone, too. Also, make sure you have a charger for your phone in a zip lock or other waterproof bag. If there is severe rain or flooding, seal your phone in a bag to protect it from water damage.
- Buy a fire extinguisher and make sure your family knows where to find it and how to use it. Read the National Fire Protection Association’s tips for using fire extinguishers.
- Check your insurance coverage, damages caused by flooding are not covered under normal homeowner’s insurance policies.
- Everyone needs to be prepared for the unexpected. Your friends and family may not be together when disaster strikes. How will you find each other? Will you know if your children or parents are safe? You may have to evacuate or be confined to your home. What will you do if water, gas, electricity or phone services are shut off?
- Emergencies can happen. When they do, the best strategy is to already have a plan in place.
For more information, read the State of Connecticut’s Emergency Management Storm Preparedness Tips.
Hurricane & Disaster Relief Assistance
Many residents may want to assist citizens of Texas who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey, or citizens of Puerto Rico or Florida who are being affected by Hurricane Irma. Those wishing to make donations should be very careful about what organizations they donate to. Make sure the organization you are donating to is reputable, and has readily available information about how your donation will be used. Do not answer phone solicitations asking for donations unless you are certain of the identity of the caller and the organization they represent.
The State of Connecticut has a list of reputable organizations currently accepting donations for Hurricane Harvey. Please note that organizations usually request cash donations instead of food, clothing, or personal items, because the cost of collecting, storing, and moving donated items is greater than the cost to purchase needed items near the site of the disaster.
The American Red Cross
Call: 1-800-RED CROSS
Text: HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation
United Way Houston
Text: UWFLOOD to 41444
Food Banks in Hurricane Harvey-Impacted Areas:
Houston Food Bank: www.houstonfoodbank.org
Galveston Food Bank: www.galvestoncountyfoodbank.org
Food Bank of the Golden Crescent (Victoria): www.victoriafoodbank.org
Corpus Christi Food Bank: www.foodbankcc.com
Southeast Texas Food Bank (Beaumont): www.setxfoodbank.org
Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley (Pharr): www.foodbankrgv.com
Brazos Valley Food Bank (Bryan): www.bvfb.org
Central Texas Food Bank (Austin): www.centraltexasfoodbank.org
San Antonio Food Bank: www.safoodbank.org