Editorial: Be prepared

September is National Preparedness Month. Wilton escaped Hurricane Hermine, but there is always a next time. This month, we are reminded to be prepared in case a disaster of any kind strikes.

Stock up — Make sure your house is fully stocked with batteries and flashlights. If you have a generator, make sure it is in good working condition and has fuel ready to go. If you don’t have a generator but are considering buying one, now is the time to put thought into it.

Secure — Make sure windows and other entrances to your home are properly sealed and functional. If there are trees that appear dead or ready to fall, get them trimmed or taken down — especially those near your home, your neighbor’s home, your car, or any other important assets. Nail down or remove any loose boarding or shingles from your home.

Insure — Make sure your homeowner’s insurance is up to date and complete.

Write it down — Make a list of preparedness steps. Write down where important items are kept, including fuel supplies, insurance documents, important utility numbers such as power and cable companies, the Wilton Police non-emergency number and the numbers of loved ones and vulnerable neighbors to check on. If your cell phone is dead, you can’t use your phone book.

Enroll in CodeRed — Notifications are provided at no cost for all Wilton residents. Town officials will send out CodeRed alerts related to any potential storm activity, evacuations, shelter locations, and other emergencies making it an essential preparedness tool to stay safe. Sign-up is on the homepage of the town website, wiltonct.org. Also on the town’s website is a banner with information should there be an impending emergency.

More info: community.fema.gov/

Last month, the state issued CT Prepares mobile application that provides information and alerts in emergency situations, and also gives useful information to prepare in advance of an emergency. By downloading the app to a mobile device, users can:

  • View real-time alerts for emergencies, weather and traffic;

  • View current and extended National Weather Service forecasts based on current location;

  • Send an “I’m safe” message to contacts via email, text, and social networks;

  • Access Connecticut Emergency Management Agency news and events;

  • View emergency preparation guides for different types of emergencies;

  • Locate Connecticut Emergency Management contacts and other useful emergency resources.

The app can be downloaded for free from the iTunes store for Apple devices and the Google Play store for Android devices by searching the keyword CT Prepares. According to Gov. Malloy’s office, it was developed jointly by the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection and Connecticut Interactive at no cost to taxpayers.