Naugatuck's Deputy Fire Chief Ellen Murray has been reaching out to people in the community and making them aware of what they need to know in case they lose their power for a long time period.
Based upon weather-related events in recent years, it seems logical that people should be prepared to be confined to their homes for days at a time without electricity. Since hurricane season lasts into November, the information is relevant now. And in Connecticut, we've also seen that snow storms can knock down utility wires and cause power outages for days.
"I think the public needs to be prepared in case they lose their power in their homes, to be able to take care of themselves and be self-sufficient for up to seven days," Murray said. "They used to say three, then they said five and now they are saying you should be prepared for seven days."
Murray's efforts are part of a national campaign by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Ready.gov to help people prepare themselves for emergency situations. She was recently at the Naugatuck Senior Center's "Senior Day," held on Sept. 19, where she and other members of the fire department, including Chief Ken Hanks, local public servants and elected officials helped educate the public about the importance of being prepared.
Murray recommends people have items such as nonperishable food, can openers that are not electric, and an old-type phone so that even if the power goes down or cell towers go down, you still have phone service.
She also recommends people have battery-powered lanterns because the fire department is not recommending people use candles.
Murray said she believes it's important for people to take proper precautions.
National Preparedness Month
Editor's Note: The information below comes from Ready.gov, a national public service advertising (PSA) campaign designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies including natural and man-made disasters.
September is National Preparedness Month (NPM). It is a time to prepare yourself and those in your care for emergencies and disasters. If you've seen the news recently, you know that emergencies can happen unexpectedly in communities just like yours, to people like you. We've seen tornado outbreaks, river floods and flash floods, historic earthquakes, tsunamis, and even water main breaks and power outages in U.S. cities affecting millions of people for days at a time.
Police, fire and rescue may not always be able to reach you quickly in an emergency or disaster. The most important step you can take in helping your local responders is being able to take care of yourself and those in your care; the more people who are prepared, the quicker the community will recover.
This September, please prepare and plan in the event you must go for three days without electricity, water service, access to a supermarket, or local services for several days. Just follow these four steps:
- Stay Informed: Information is available from federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial resources. Access Ready.gov to learn what to do before, during, and after an emergency.
- Make a Plan: Discuss, agree on, and document an emergency plan with those in your care. For sample plans, see Ready.gov. Work together with neighbors, colleagues, and others to build community resilience.
- Build a Kit: Keep enough emergency supplies -water, nonperishable food, first aid, prescriptions, flashlight, and battery-powered radio on hand -for you and those in your care.
- Get Involved: There are many ways to get involved especially before a disaster occurs. The whole community can participate in programs and activities to make their families, homes and places of worship safer from risks and threats. Community leaders agree that the formula for ensuring a safer homeland consists of volunteers, a trained and informed public, and increased support of emergency response agencies during disasters.
By taking a few simple actions, you can make your family safer. Consider planning a Ready Kids event in your community to encourage families to get prepared with their children.
Volunteer to present preparedness information in your childís class or in PTO/PTA meetings.
Invite officials from your local Office of Emergency Management, Citizen Corps Council, or first responder teams to speak at schools or youth events.
Use local emergency management resources to learn more about preparedness in your community.
Contact your local emergency management agency to get essential information on specific hazards to your area, local plans for shelter and evacuation, ways to get information before and during an emergency, and how to sign up for emergency alerts if they are available.
Contact your local firehouse (The Naugatuck FD number is 203.720.7084) and ask for a tour and information about preparedness.
Get involved with your local American Red Cross Chapter or train with a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).
For more information, check out:
Follow us: @Readygov on Twitter
Email us: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Monthly Preparedness text messages: Text PREPARE to 43362 (4FEMA) to receive monthly preparedness tips. (msg/data rates apply)
Order publications: call 1-800-BE-READY, 1-888-SE-LISTO, and TTY 1-800-462-7585