Submitted by State Rep. Linda Schofield
Well, the weather gods are playing “trick or treat” with us again this year.
I’m sure that last year’s storm taught us ALL lots of lessons about planning for emergencies. But I thought it would be good to review a few things for you:
Plan ahead for communication:
- Have a battery radio on hand and extra batteries. Simsbury uses WTIC 1080-AM for announcements.
- Register your cell phone number and e-mail address with the Emergency Alert and Notification System at www.ctalert.gov. That way, even if your home phone is not working, you can get “reverse 911” calls and e-mails that give you information about the emergency and the services available from the state and town.
- I will also send out e-mails as I did last year with any information I have about the shelter, school closings, debris removal, CL&P’s status, etc.
- Make note of the town’s website, www.simsbury-ct.gov in your list of “favorites” on your computer. There’s always lots of information there. If you have no power at home, the library usually gets power early after an outage and has computers you can use. Follow the town on Twitter at @townofsimsbury. The town sends tweets as one form of communication during an outage.
For people with medical issues:
- Notify CL&P at 1-800-286-2000 if you or a member of your household is dependent on electrical life-support equipment and make sure your back-up generator is in good working order. When you call CL&P, ask the automated system to let you speak directly to an agent, by saying “agent”. You may need to do this a couple times in order to bypass the automated menus. Have your account information handy, as you’ll be asked to give it.
- Notify the Simsbury social services department (860-658-3283) if you or someone in your home is frail. That way the town can send someone to check on you if the storm turns into a real disaster.
- Have a back-up plan of folks you can stay with who have a generator. Make friends with your neighbors so they can check on you.
Collect necessary supplies:
- Make sure you have at least one gallon of water per person per day ready for at least a five-day emergency. For folks on wells, make sure you have some 5 gallon containers you can fill with drinking water. (I got my containers years ago at a camping store.) Also be sure you have a leak-proof drain plug for your tub, so you can fill that too.
- FEMA also recommends having at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food ready at all times. Make sure you have a manual can opener.
- Have a supply of batteries, flashlights, candles, lamp oil and oil lamps.
- Camp stores sell head lamps – coal miner style so you can have both hands free.
- Be sure to fill your cars’ gas tanks!
- Generators require maintenance. Be sure yours is in good working condition and is properly wired to your home or appliances.
- Do not use gasoline or propane fueled generators (or gas or charcoal grills) inside your home or garage. They give off carbon monoxide and can kill you if not properly ventilated.
- Do not touch downed wires. Even though you think all power is cut off to an area, there may still be electricity in a wire due to power flowing back out to the streets from generators and solar panels at individuals’ homes.
- Town staff are prepared to open the shelter at the high school again if power is lost.