Although we have not experienced a hurricane this season, we have seen the powerful impact of Harvey in Texas and are closely watching the tracks of Irma and Jose. Irma has already caused catastrophic damage in the Caribbean and will make landfall in Florida this weekend. It’s critical for residents to be prepared for any disaster – especially as we approach the peak of the hurricane season.
September has been designated as ‘National Preparedness Month’. The Ready campaign is a national public campaign that educates and empowers Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies including natural and man-made disasters.
The Norwalk Office of Emergency Management encourages all residents to take to prepare and to watch the tracks of Irma and Jose and their potential impacts on CT.
General Preparedness includes:
- Make a family emergency communication plan and include pets.
- Identify an out of town emergency contact to coordinate information with family and friends. During disasters it’s often easier to send/ receive text messages rather than emails or phone calls.
- Check on neighbors and family members who have special needs.
- Keep an emergency kit wherever you spend time: home car, work, etc.
- Download the FEMA app or the American Red Cross app and set up local alerts
- Listen to local officials by radio, TV or social media and take action. Norwalk uses a mass notification service called Code Red. To add cell phone, text or emails as well as unlisted and VOIP home numbers. To add or update your information, visit www.norwalkct.org and scroll to the bottom of the page.
- Practice your family preparedness plans with a drill or exercise.
- Take a first aid class so you can help until first responders arrive.
- Do a home inventory and insurance check-up annually. Take updated photographs, make copies of insurance documents and agent numbers and find out how to make a claim.
- If instructed to evacuate, make sure to pack medication and other essential items and clearly label items such as medical equipment. While an emergency shelter would be opened in advance of a disaster, staying with friends or family members outside the flood zone, will always be more comfortable.
- If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, contact the American Red Cross or Norwalk Health Department
For more information visit, https://www.ready.gov/september