CONNECTICUT, USA — Hurricane Henri has set its eye on New England, triggering a hurricane watch for parts of the Connecticut coast and the Long Island Sound. Towns and cities east of New Haven have a hurricane watch in effect while those to the west have a tropical storm watch.
Meteorologists say that residents across Connecticut must prepare as the storm continues its approach toward the state. It is expected to bring rain starting Sunday.
The American Red Cross is offering some tips for residents as the storm slowly approaches the state.
- Create an evacuation plan. Make sure you and everyone in your groups know where to go in case of an emergency.
- Build an emergency kit. This should include a gallon of water per person, per day, non-perishable foods, masks, flashlight, first aid kit, and a battery-powered radio. If one already has an emergency kit, check it to make sure everything is up to date.
- Be informed. Make sure you know how local officials will contact the public, whether it is TV, phone, or even radio.
- Download the free Red Cross Emergency App to help keep you and your loved ones safe with real-time alerts, open Red Cross shelter locations, and safety advice on hurricanes and other emergencies.
Fairfield-based Save the Children says parents can help their kids prepare for Tropical Storm Henri by talking about the storm and explaining that the natural event is not anyone’s fault. It's also important to reassure children of plans in place to keep them safe.
Additionally, filling out contact cards and packing go-bags are important in case of emergencies.
The Town of West Hartford provided tips on how to stay safe as well:
- Bring in lawn furniture, umbrellas, canopies, or anything that can blow away and cause damage.
- Have cash on hand in case ATMs or credit card machines are not functioning.
- Gas your vehicles.
- Stock your freezer with ice. Ice will be in short supply so consider making your own now.
- Stock up on non-perishable food.
- Make sure your pets have enough food for several days.
- If you can, clear debris from the top of a catch basin near your home to reduce flooding.
- Do not drive through standing water. You can park a car in one of the Town’s parking garages if you are concerned about potential damage to your vehicle.
- Be cautious after the storm. Stay home and do not take any unnecessary trips. Trees and power lines could be down causing a hazardous situation.
Eversource said it is closely monitoring the storm as well and is prepared to react if outages occur.
“We have been closely watching multiple storm forecasts for several days, and we’re actively engaged in our emergency response preparedness efforts so that, if necessary, we’re ready to respond and quickly restore power for our customers,” said Eversource President of Regional Electric Operations Craig Hallstrom. “There’s still some uncertainty across multiple models that we follow, and we’re preparing based on the current forecast."
It continued: "One of the biggest challenges for storms like Henri is that changes in the storm track can significantly alter potential impacts. We will continue to adjust our response plans to shift crews and other resources accordingly as the storm approaches New England, and our dedicated employees are ready to work around the clock to serve our customers.”
Verizon says its also prepared to keep customers connected throughout Tropical Storm Henri.
Here are some tips officials provided that can help residents prepare at home to keep their tech dry and their families safe and connected ahead of the storm.
Keep devices dry: Store phones, tablets, batteries, chargers and other equipment in a dry, accessible location. Plastic zipper storage bags will shield devices, and there are weatherproof phones, phone cases and other protective accessories available.
Keep devices fully charged: Plan ahead by keeping phone and tablet batteries fully charged in case local power is lost.
Get some backup: Keep spare batteries charged up to provide backup power. And have car chargers on hand in case you need to evacuate.
Create a list: Maintain a list of emergency numbers–police and fire departments; power and insurance companies; family, friends and co-workers; etc.–and program them into your wireless devices before an emergency arises.
Be prepared for loss: Use your tablet to photograph and catalog your valuables and other household belongings for possible insurance claims
Download useful apps: Hundreds of free weather, news, and safety-related apps and services are available through your device’s app store. These include several apps from the American Red Cross for iOS and Android, mobile weather reports from the National Weather Service, and many, many more.
COVID-19 considerations: In the event of an evacuation, bookmark your local emergency resources on your phone so you can research any special restrictions, limitations or instructions if you need emergency shelter, medical care or other support that may be impacted by COVID-19.
The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) also issued tips on how to stay safe:
- Put important financial, medical, and legal documents in a safe place. Use a fire-proof safe and have digital backups. Keep records of all additional expenses. Homeowners' insurance policies generally provide coverage for additional living expenses if you have covered damage to your home.
- If there is property damage, photograph debris or destroyed items before having them removed or repaired.
- Beware of contractors who ask for a large amount of money upfront and contractors whose bids are very low as they may cut corners and leave with problems after they're gone.
- Make sure contractors are qualified, license, and insured.
The Salvation Army's Southern New England Headquarters has an Incident Command Team in Hartford and will cover any response needs in Connecticut and Rhode Island. The Emergency Disaster Services mobile canteen team has been put on standby.
Follow the FOX61 weather page or on the FOX61 News app for the latest forecast.
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