Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, Erika, Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida, Joaquin, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor, Wanda.
No one wants these characters knocking on their door this year. They are the names of hurricanes for the 2015 season, and as of June 1, hurricane season has officially arrived. With it is the need for all of us to be prepared.
Here in Connecticut we didn’t often think about hurricanes. But “superstorms” like Irene and Sandy in 2011 and 2012 changed that and showed us both the power of Mother Nature and the power of preparation.
This year, the National Hurricane Center is predicting the Atlantic region will see between six and 11 named storms, three to six of those rising to the level of hurricanes, with one or two of those considered “major.” But as Wiltonians know all too well, all it takes is one big storm to cause major devastation.
But knowing the risks — the potential for flooding, road or bridge closures, wind damage, and especially power outages — is a good thing. It means it’s possible to prepare.
The state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection recommends three simple steps residents can take right now: Make a plan, put together an emergency kit, and stay informed.
A family emergency plan includes:
- Identify an out-of-town contact (it’s often easier to make long distance calls than local ones during a storm).
- Make sure everyone in the family can call or text by having access to a cell phone or a pre-paid phone card.
- Use the “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) designation on cell phone contacts for easy look-up by emergency personnel.