ENFIELD — Chief Edward N. Richards and Enfield Fire District No. 1 wish to share the following tips on hurricane awareness and preparedness.
June 1 marks the official start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which runs through Nov. 30. While most hurricanes and tropical storms that hit New England occur during August and September, residents are encouraged to take time now to begin preparing before a storm.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) seasonal outlook predicts another active, above-normal, Atlantic hurricane season. While NOAA is not expecting the historic activity seen last year, it only takes one storm to make landfall and severely affect an area.
The beginning of hurricane season is a timely reminder for all residents to prepare for the effects of a hurricane by developing an emergency plan, building an emergency kit, and staying informed before, during, and after the storm.
“One of the most important aspects of emergency preparedness is being aware of hazards and emergencies that may affect you and your community,” Chief Richards said. “Once you are aware of all hazards and emergencies you may be susceptible to, we then recommend that our residents make an emergency plan for each situation as preparedness can be the difference between life or death during an emergency.”
Enfield Fire District No. 1 shares the following tips, courtesy the Red Cross:
Prepare in Advance
- Assemble an emergency preparedness kit.
- Create a household evacuation plan that includes your pets.
- Stay informed about your community’s risk and response plans.
- Ensure each family member knows how to get back in touch if you are separated during an emergency.
Protect Your Family
- Talk with your family about what to do if a hurricane strikes. Discussing hurricanes ahead of time helps reduce fear, particularly for younger children.
- Ensure that every member of your family carries a Safe and Well wallet card.
- Make sure you have access to NOAA radio broadcasts.
- Find an online NOAA radio station.
- Purchase a battery-powered or hand-crank NOAA radio in the Red Cross Store.
- Keep insurance policies, documents, and other valuables in a safe-deposit box. You may need quick, easy access to these documents. Keep them in a safe place less likely to be damaged if a hurricane causes flooding. Take pictures on a phone and keep copies of important documents and files on a flash drive that you can carry with you on your house or car keys.
Protect Your Pets and Animals
- Prepare a pet emergency kit for your companion animals.
Protect Your Home
- Protect windows with permanent storm shutters or invest in one-half inch marine plywood that is pre-cut to fit your doors and windows.
- Identify a place to store lawn furniture, toys, gardening tools and trash cans (away from stairs and exits) to prevent them from being moved by high winds and possibly hurting someone.
- Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts to prevent flooding and unnecessary pressure on the awnings.
- Remember that standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding but flood insurance does. Get information at www.FloodSmart.gov.