Getting Ready for the “Frankenstorm”

We in Connecticut remember far too well last year’s Tropical Storm Irene. Our shoreline was hit hard and parts of the state are still rebuilding in the aftermath of the storm. Two months after Irene hit us, we were then walloped by another major storm, an October blizzard, that knocked our power out across much of the state for days (and in some areas for weeks).

Tropical Storm Irene ravaged Short Beach in Branford a little over one year ago

Now, almost exactly one year after that blizzard and Irene, we are preparing for yet what is expected to be another major storm.

Map of Hurricane Sandy’s track
Map courtesy of NOAA

Hurricane Sandy is expected to hit our state sometime between Monday and Tuesday. According to the New Haven Register,

“Expected to make landfall near the Connecticut coastline at about 2 p.m. Tuesday, the National Weather Service said residents can expect to “feel the impacts of a dangerous coastal storm late this weekend into early next week.” High winds, “widespread” downing of trees, “significant” flooding and other damage can be anticipated.”

The state is beginning to make preparations for the storm. Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating are monitoring the storm and have contracted for additional crews from out of state to be on call to respond to power outages. Towns are putting together supplies and preparing emergency operation centers. While it is uncertain how severe the storm will be once it reaches Connecticut, its important that residents begin to take some precautions for the storm.

This NOAA satellite image taken Friday, Oct. 26, 2012 at 01:45 AM EDT shows Hurricane Sandy moving NNW through the northern Bahamas with a broad cloud shield covering the southeastern Atlantic Basin into the northern Caribbean.(AP Photo/Weather Underground)

Below is a list of some things you can do before the storm hits to minimize damage to your property and protect Long Island Sound from debris:

  • Remove boats from water
  • Put down storm windows
  • Trim any trees or shrubs to get rid of branches that could fly off during the storm
  • Secure garbage can lids to prevent trash from entering our waterbodies
  • Bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations and anything else that is not tied down
  • Clean out storm drains on street (before and after)
  • Check in with neighbors, especially the elderly

Additionally, in a statement released yesterday, Governor Malloy recommends that residents prepare an emergency supply kit and family emergency plan:

Basic Emergency Supply Kit
  • One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • A whistle to signal for help
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Can opener
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger.
 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, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
  • Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has a cell phone, coins, or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact.  If you have a cell phone, program that person(s) as “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) in your phone. If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE listings in order to get a hold of someone you know.  Make sure to tell your family and friends that you’ve listed them as emergency contacts.
  • 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 severe weather, road closings, local emergencies, etc.  In Connecticut, go to to register for alerts.

Here are a few links to good resources for hurricane preparedness:

Connecticut Hurricane Center

CL&P Emergency Prep Tips

United Illuminating Storm Center

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Most importantly, keep an eye on the storm. It may change its path and how it will impact the state between now and when it reaches the northeast. But it never hurts to be prepared.

Posted by Rebecca Kaplan, director of communications for CFE/Save the Sound

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