Irma's track may be uncertain, but CT towns still playing it safe


Hurricane Irma has yet to even have an impact on the Caribbean but it already has people in Connecticut thinking.

The towns of Old Lyme and North Stonington issued memos to their residents on Monday.

"Our community has 'weathered' more than our share of serious storms in the last few years and our town wants to help you be prepared for – and stay safe during – any emergency situation," said First Selectman Bonnie A. Reemsnyder, Old Lyme.

Reemsnyder cited storms like Irene and Sandy that left portions of the state without power for days.

She said that while the town's emergency operations center and respite center rain efficiently, it was not able to reach everyone in the town.

"We want to do the best we can to communicate with everyone when emergencies occur or are imminent," Reemsnyder said. "For example, we can let you know if a health crisis poses a threat to our community; or if a fire or accident will restrict access to some neighborhoods; or, if we have been advised to take safety precautions; and, of course, if our community needs to prepare for another impending hurricane or winter storm."

Reemsnyder urged residents to sign up for the town's Old Lyme Alerts so it can text or call people to inform them of emergencies.

People can do so at this link.

Old Saybrook Police Chief Michael Spera said as weather experts determine Irma's direction over the next few days, his community will ramp up its safety measures.

"We have to be prepared to stand up a shelter to protect our population then afterwords have a recovery center to make sure people get what they need until normalcy is restored in the community," Spera said.

Five years ago, during Superstorm Sandy, Old Saybrook and Old Lyme where among many communities hosting shelters for shoreline property owners forced out of their homes.

That's why they stockpile pallets of clean bottled water, cots, and even portable stop signs to help with traffic control when the power goes out.

In North Stonington, the volunteer fire company told folks that now is the time to prepare.

"Do not procrastinate," it wrote in a Facebook post. "If we don't get hit by Irma, you will be ready for the next."

It posted the following preparation tasks: Run your chainsaw. Change oil in generator. Fill up your heating fuel. Clean up anything that could be a projectile in high winds in your yard. If you have plywood hurricane shutters, check to make sure you have screws with them. If you don't have hurricane shutters, take a trip to Home Depot and buy some cheap plywood and cut to fit windows. Water pump - Please look at buying a small submersible pump. If you have a outdoor grill, get some charcoal or fill your propane tank. Batteries for flashlights. Check your first aid supplies in your house and your vehicles. Bottled water - 12 oz bottles per person per day or one gallon per day is a good reference. Have a plan if you must evacuate such as a relative's house or local shelter. Old school battery operated AM FM radio. If all communication is out this will come in handy. Have your three or four day "go bag" ready. Undergarments, socks, one pair of shoes and a rain jacket are some of the must-haves. If you take life saving medications, please get them refilled, especially medications for anxieties. Be nice to your neighbors. You never know who will need a helping hand.Gov. Dannel Malloy will hold a press conference on Tuesday afternoon in New Haven to discuss storm preparedness as we move closer to the height of hurricane season.

"The Governor will be joined by New Haven Mayor Toni Harp and Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner Dora Schriro," Malloy's office said on Monday.

Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Digital Content Producer

Recommended for you