What if it happened here?
Track of Hurricane Gloria 1985
As we all watch the news over the damage that the Gulf States have received from hurricane Katrina we can only reflect and ask ourselves, “What if it happened here”?
The Town of Old Lyme as well as other communities on the coastline of Connecticut are still vulnerable from the force and strength of a hurricane hitting our shores. The Town's Emergency Operations Plan covers response to many all-hazard type emergencies such as these weather related incidents to radiological occurrences. Local emergency sheltering centers include the Lyme/Old Lyme Middle School and Center School. Other evacuation centers would be established statewide in the event of a major disaster.
Traditionally the United States East Coast hurricane season runs from June to November each year. Connecticut’s risk has been most prominent during the months of August thru October. This is when weather and ocean conditions are prime to support a tropical depression or hurricane coming up the east coast and threatening our shores. This year the National Weather Service is predicting a higher than normal season anticipating 15 tropical storms, 8 possible hurricanes and up to 4major hurricanes.
Modern weather detection systems can provide early warning advisories. Monitor local weather stations or National Weather Service for details. Advisories such as a Hurricane Watch are given whenever a hurricane becomes a threat to our coastal areas. A Hurricane Warning is given when hurricanes sustained winds of 74 miles per hour or higher are expected in a specific coastal area within 24 hours.
Living here in New England you should know how to respond to any severe weather activity that could occur in our area. By being prepared people can reduce the fear, anxiety, and losses that accompany disasters. Businesses, families, and individuals should know what to do in the event of a hurricane or severe storm.
What can we do to prepare for an oncoming large-scale storm? Be aware of new forecasts and changing storm conditions, maintaining an emergency preparedness kit and securing your home and yard from the storm.
· Securing yard items such as lawn furniture, garden tools, toys and BBQ grills so these items do not become flying objects during high winds. Have your homes LP Gas tanks turned off and anchored so they don’t leak dangerous gas or float away in rising waters. Boarding up windows or using storm shutters and duct tape. Damage to small windows is mainly from flying debris. Large window s may be broken by wind pressure. Although tape may not keep a window from breaking it is an effective way of preventing flying glass.
· You should also be ready to be self-sufficient for at least three days. This may mean providing for your own shelter, first aid, food, water, and sanitation. Every family should have An Emergency Preparedness Kit on hand at all times ready to “Grab and Go’ in the event of a need to rapidly depart your home. The kit should contain basic items you would need for 36 to 48 hours away from your home.
The Kit should include the following items:
· At least one gallon of water per person per day.
· Non-perishable food and pet food for at least 3 days.
· Flashlight with extra batteries.
· Battery powered radio with extra batteries.
· First Aid Kit.
· Medicine for at least 3 days including medications and copies of prescriptions.
· Baby supplies for at least 3 days.
· Copies of important papers, drivers licenses, tax records, birth certificates etc.
For more information regarding hurricane Katrina or personal preparedness please contact the Old Lyme Office of Emergency Management. 860.434.1605 ext 231, or try the additional resources at the attached links.
Family and homeowner information:
Hurricane Relief Information