Hurricane preparedness

From the Desk of Chief Richard Felner
Office of Emergency Management

As the East Coast enters the 2010 hurricane season, which runs from June through November, the Fairfield Fire Department Emergency Management Team are urging residents to be prepared for the possibility of a hurricane striking in this area by taking the following precautions.

  • Know what the hurricane evacuation plan entails, including designated safe areas, areas to be evacuated during a hurricane and safe evacuation routes.  Contact Fire Chief Richard Felner at 203-254-4713 for more information about the town’s emergency plans.
  • Whenever severe weather strikes Fairfield, residents should call the town’s Emergency Management Information Line at 203-254-4899.
  • Enter hurricane season prepared and have flood insurance, which is not normally included in most homeowner’s policies.  Contact your insurance agent to find out whether you qualify for the National Flood Insurance Program.
  • Understand the terminology of storms. A “hurricane watch” means that hurricane conditions are possible for an area while a “hurricane warning” means that a hurricane is expected within 24 hours and residents should begin emergency preparations.
  • When a hurricane warning is issued:
    • Listen for weather updates on a portable radio.
    • Keep a flashlight, as well as extra batteries, on hand.
    • Remove loose objects from your yard that could become projectiles if high winds strike.
    • If you own a boat, move it to a safe harbor and moor it.
    • Store drinking water in clean containers.
    • Have on hand plywood and other materials.  Board windows and secure double doors.
    • Remove diseased and damaged limbs from trees and prune branches strategically so that the wind can blow through.
    • Plan your evacuation route, know where to go and fill your vehicle’s gas tank.
  • If you are ordered to evacuate, do so immediately.  Bring your hurricane evacuation kit, turn off water, gas and electricity but only if time permits.  Avoid flood waters and stay away from downed utility wires.  FEMA advises inclusion of a supply of non-perishable food; a fire extinguisher; a first-aid kit; extra batteries for the flashlight and radio; a two-week supply of medicine; blankets or sleeping bags; extra clothing; lightweight folding chairs/cots; personal items such as books, toys and snacks; infant necessities; and important personal papers, including a valid identification card and money.
  • Do not enter evacuated areas until an all-clear message is issued.
Jeff Bustraan