Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Come Out!

Over the last two years, Connecticut residents have demonstrated that they can put aside their differences and come together to triumph over adversity.

By Catherine Blinder

Over the last two years, Connecticut residents have demonstrated that they can put aside their differences and come together to triumph over adversity.

The pandemic surprised the world – no one expected every corner of our planet to be dramatically impacted by a virus no one had ever heard of before.

COVID-19 was a surprise, but hurricanes and other seasonal storms are not a surprise to those of us who live in New England. We don’t lose as many lives to storms as we did in the pandemic, but we certainly lose lives. We also lose property and people’s livelihoods, and even though we expect them every year, many of us are not ready when they hit, and unlike COVID-19, there are many simple things we can do in advance to prepare our homes and our families before a hurricane or major storm.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, with the most dangerous time being from mid-August to mid-October.

First of all, download the state’s emergency notice apps on your mobile phone in order to stay informed of any storms or hurricanes headed your way. Also, listen to your trusted news sources on radio and television and read your local papers and watch social media for information about forecasts (which can change quickly), shelters, and evacuation orders.




Right now, when there is no emergency, is time to put together your emergency supplies to be prepared. Many of the following things are easily accessible – just put them together in a safe place and make sure everyone in the family knows where they are. It’s never too early to teach your children about preparing for an emergency. Include them in the preparation and explain why you are doing it; make them feel part of taking care of their family!

Basic Emergency Supply Kit:

- One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation

- At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both

- Flashlight and extra batteries

- First aid kit

- A whistle to signal for help

- Garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

- A manual can opener for food (if the kit contains canned food)

- Local maps

- Cell phone with chargers, inverter, or solar charger

- Food and litter requirements for any pets

- Medicine or any special needs items, including diapers for infants

- Disinfecting supplies and masks for COVID-19 should they be needed at a shelter

Family Emergency Plan:

Be sure you and your family members are aware of local shelter locations and your evacuation zone, especially if you live along the shoreline.

Identify an out-of-town contact. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.

Be sure every member of your family knows the appropriate phone numbers and has a cell phone, or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact. This is something you can teach children when they are young.

Plan and pre-set a family group text conversation on your phones. Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through, and they use less battery life.

Protecting Your Home and Valuables:

If you have home or renter’s insurance, it’s important to understand what is covered by weather damage and to keep those documents safe. Here’s how you can do that.

- Review your insurance policies yearly and especially prior to the start of hurricane season.

- Review your policy with an agent or contact the Connecticut Insurance Department to understand what is covered and what your coverage limits are to ensure you are receiving adequate protection.

- Keep your policies and insurance contact information in a safe place.

- Make an inventory of your possessions should your property be damaged, and you have to make a claim.

- Keep copies of all these things and make additional copies and leave them in the care of a family member or friend.

We can’t escape the crazy New England weather, but we can be prepared for it. And as always, pass this important information on to family and friends. Stay safe.

This article was written by Catherine Blinder, chief education and outreach officer of the Department of Consumer Protection of the State of Connecticut. To learn more about how the Department of Consumer Protection can help, visit us online at www.ct.gov/dcp.