Hurricanes making landfall in Connecticut are rare, but not unheard of. Just ask survivors of the Hurricane of 1938, or even those who remember Hurricane Gloria in 1985.
The key to staying safe during a hurricane, is to be prepared, according to the American Red Cross.
"People who live in or are vacationing in areas that could see its impact need to get ready now," said Red Cross spokesperson Paul Shipman. "We urge them to take the threat of Irene seriously and finalize their hurricane preparations and get their emergency kits ready."
Here's what the Red Cross says you need before the storm:
- Fill your car's gas tank
- Water: at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person, per day
- Food: at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Medications: 7-day supply
- Other medical items: (hearing aids, glasses, contacts, syringes)
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Cell phone with chargers
- Copies of personal documents: passports, birth certificates, etc.
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Baby supplies
- Pet supplies
- A whistle to signal for help
- Local maps
Here are tips on how to prepare your home for the hurricane.
Family emergency plan:
- Identify an out-of town contact. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town.
- Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and can call the emergency contact. If you have a cell phone, program that person as "ICE" (In Case of Emergency) in your phone.
- Teach family members how to use text messaging. Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through.
- Subscribe to alert services. Many communities/states now have systems that will send instant text alerts or e-mails to let you know about bad weather, road closings, local emergencies, etc. In Connecticut, go to www.ct.gov/ctalert to register for alerts.
Red Cross workers prepare days before the storm, and those who may be affected shouldn't wait until it's too late, according to Shipman.