With Hurricane Henri setting its sights on Long Island and Connecticut, residents should be preparing to keep their families and property safe.
Safety is the biggest priority and you should take cover when warned. Following are things to prepare in advance.
MAKE A PLAN
- Pick safe places in your home where you can go if there is an emergency.
- Pick 2 ways to get out in case you have to leave.
- Pick a place for your family to meet in case you are separated.
- Pick one place in your neighborhood.
- Pick one place outside of your neighborhood.
- Pick your family contacts – two people you and your family members can call in case you are separated.
- Pick one person in the same state.
- Pick one person in a different state.
- Write down your contacts' phone numbers and make sure everyone in your family has a copy of them.
- Pick a place where you can stay in case you have to evacuate your home for a few days.
- Make a plan for what you will do to keep your pets safe if there is an emergency.
- Know how to turn off the electricity, gas and water in your home in case you are asked to do it.
- Make sure everyone knows the plan.
- Take photos of possessions inside and outside your home in case you need them for insurance purposes.
- Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it.
- Purchase ice or freeze water-filled plastic containers to help keep food cold during a power outage.
- Fill your car’s gas tank as gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps.
MAKE AN EMERGENCY SUPPLY KIT
The kit should have enough supplies for you and your family for at least three days.
- A supply of water in jugs or bottles. At least one gallon of water for every person in your home for each day. You will need more water if there are children, if someone is nursing a baby or if the weather is hot.
- food in cans or sealed packages like soup and tuna fish
- foods and juices that do not have to be refrigerated or cooked
- food for infants or the elderly
- A manual can opener, paper plates, plastic utensils and something to cook on like a small grill with fuel. Be sure to only use charcoal and gas grills outdoors to prevent carbon monoxide buildup.
- Bleach and eyedropper (to treat water).
- Paper towels, toilet paper, soap.
- Battery-powered radio, flashlights, cell phone
- Extra batteries.
- Blanket/sleeping bag, pillows for everyone in the family.
- Extra clothing for everyone in the family.
- Things babies and children need like diapers, games, toys and books.
- First-aid kit.
- medicines (prescriptions, fever reducers, aspirin)
- eye glasses and contact lens supplies
- list of the doctors you go to and their phone numbers
- medical supplies (colostomy supplies, insulin syringes)
- Garbage bags and cleaning supplies.
- Things your pets need like food and water, a pet carrier or cage, medicines, muzzle, collar, leash, ID tags and their immunization records.
- Extra set of car keys, credit cards, cash and important
- information like social security numbers and birth certificates.
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape (see "Sealing the Room - pg. 7).
- Pictures of your family members and pets in case you are separated and need help looking for them.
- Whistle (to signal for help)
- Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
- Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
- Local maps
- IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN:
- Small children may need: formula, diapers, bottles, medications, wipes, baby food, extra water, toys, books.
- IF YOU ARE ELDERLY:
- If you use a home health care agency, make sure they know your family’s emergency plan and who you would like to be contacted in the event of an emergency.
- Tell other family members where to find emergency supplies and teach them how to use any special medical equipment.
- Put your name on special equipment like wheelchairs, canes or walkers.
The state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection and the Commission on Fire Prevention and Control warns about safety
- Use portable generators outside and away from the home to prevent exhaust gasses and Carbon Monoxide from entering the house.
- If your CO detector sounds, evacuate the home and call the fire department. They can come to check for the presence of CO and also check your fuel-burning appliances for problems.
- Candles are open flames and can ignite any nearby combustibles. Blow out candle when you leave a room or use flashlights as a safer alternative.
- If outside or while driving, be of the potential for downed power lines. They are often tangled in trees and might not be easily visible. Any downed wire must be considered live so keep at least 10-15 feet away from any downed wires.
- Downed wires can also come in contact with other items; fences, guardrails and or roadside signs and can potentially energize them as well, which can cause an electrocution hazard.
- Street flooding: If you see water covering the roadway, you cannot easily determine the depth of the water so do not drive through standing water, it is always safer to go around. Remember, Don’t drown, go around.
- Check your sump pump before the storm to ensure it is working properly. If your basement does flood, avoid entering the standing water to prevent contamination from possible sewage. Also stay away from any electrical fixtures in the basement and have the water removed as soon as you can.
- If you use your car to re-charge devices, do NOT keep the car running in a garage, partially enclosed space, or close to a home, this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
The United States Coast Guard is urging boaters to stay off water, be prepared, evacuate as necessary, stay informed and look out for rip currents.
Note: Information above was compiled from the state of Connecticut and the National Hurricane Center.