The Traveler’s Insurance Company provided these tips in the event that Hurricane Elsa, which is predicted to travel off-shore this weekend, picks up momentum and does hit us on late Thursday/Early Friday.
In the event of a natural disaster, having a preparedness plan can be a critical element in helping secure a safe transition out of danger for you, your loved ones and your property.
Preparation is key, but it is also important to stay calm and focused during an emergency. If you are ordered to evacuate, do so. If you are not evacuating, use your time wisely to make preparations.
- Communicate where you will be. Contact someone outside the affected area to tell them where you will be for the duration of the event. Business owners should remind employees of their roles in helping to get the business back up and running, and how they will be notified when the facility is open again.
- Know the warning signs and alert signals for your area. Stay tuned to your local television or radio station or community alert system for emergency information.
- Check your emergency survival kit. Make sure your emergency survival kit is stocked with essential items and kept in an easily accessible location.
- Collect emergency building materials. Depending on the type of disaster, you may want to have emergency materials on hand, such as plywood, sandbags and waterproof tarps.
- Fuel up your vehicles and equipment. If you have an emergency generator, make sure you have fresh fuel on hand. Depending on your situation, you may need a supply of extra fuel. If so, be sure to store the spare fuel in an approved container in a safe location. Never use a generator inside or even in a garage. Make sure it is located a safe distance from windows, doors and vents.
- Be sure you have car chargers for your cell phone, smart phone and other portable devices. Having car chargers available can assist you in staying in communication with others if your electricity goes out. Do not forget to fully charge devices before a storm.
- Secure all outdoor objects or move them inside. Grills, patio furniture and flowerpots are common household items that can become airborne in high winds. Do not use grills inside or store propane tanks inside the house or garage. Business owners should also remember to secure outdoor signage, benches and equipment to help minimize potential damage.
- Know how to shut off all utilities. It is always a good idea to know how to turn off the gas, electricity and water in your home or place of business. If you need to evacuate suddenly, it may be prudent to turn off utilities before leaving. Before doing so, consider equipment that can help minimize damage and should therefore not have utilities interrupted, such as electricity to sump pumps or fire protection equipment.
The season is young, and we may be in for a long, drawn out hurricane filled summer and fall.
The National Weather Service issued this Weather Alert tonight:
Tropical Storm Elsa is expected to impact Long Island and portions of Southern CT late Thursday night into Friday.
A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for our area.
Currently, the storm is about 960 miles southwest of Montauk Point, NY – Storm Intensity 45 mph – Movement North or 10 degrees at 14 mph
Tropical Storm Elsa will move over Georgia tonight, and through the Carolinas on Thursday, while weakening to a tropical depression. The storm will then reintensify to tropical storm strength as it passes near or over the Mid Atlantic coast late Thursday night, and near or over Long Island and southeast New England on Friday.
The main threats from Elsa are heavy rain capable of producing flash flooding, tropical storm force winds especially along the south shore of Long Island and across southeast Connecticut, and associated marine and coastal hazards, including very rough seas and dangerous rip currents.
Rainfall of 1 to 3 inches with locally higher amounts is forecast from Thursday afternoon into Friday. Dangerous marine conditions also should develop on the ocean waters south of Long Island, as well as on Long Island Sound, and the south shore and eastern bays of Long Island.
Tropical storm force winds will be most likely in those areas, near the south shores of Long Island and southeast Connecticut, and in some higher elevations away from the coastline. Dangerous rip currents will likely occur along the ocean beaches of Long Island.
Prepare for dangerous rainfall flooding having possible significant impacts across Southern Connecticut. Potential impacts include: – Moderate rainfall flooding may prompt several evacuations and rescues. – Rivers and streams may quickly become swollen with swifter currents and may overspill their banks in a few places, especially in usually vulnerable spots.
Small streams, creeks, canals, and ditches may overflow. – Flood waters can enter some structures or weaken foundations.
Several places may experience expanded areas of rapid inundation at underpasses, low lying spots, and poor drainage areas. Some streets and parking lots take on moving water as storm drains and retention ponds overflow.
Driving conditions become hazardous. Some road and bridge closures.
Prepare for hazardous wind having possible limited impacts across southeast Connecticut. Potential impacts in these areas include: – Damage to porches, awnings, carports, sheds, and unanchored mobile homes. Unsecured lightweight objects blown about.
Many large tree limbs broken off. A few trees snapped or uprooted, but with greater numbers in places where trees are shallow rooted. Some fences and roadway signs blown over.
A few roads impassable from debris, particularly within urban or heavily wooded places. Hazardous driving conditions on bridges and other elevated roadways.
Scattered power and communications outages. Elsewhere across Southern Connecticut, little to no impact is anticipated.
* OTHER COASTAL HAZARDS: There is potential for dangerous rip currents Thursday and Friday, as well as high surf and beach erosion on Friday.
* SURGE: Little to no impacts are anticipated at this time across Southern Connecticut.
* TORNADOES: Prepare for a tornado event having possible limited impacts across Southern Connecticut. Potential impacts include: The occurrence of isolated tornadoes can hinder the execution of emergency plans during tropical events.
A few places may experience tornado damage, along with power and communications disruptions. Locations could realize roofs peeled off buildings, chimneys toppled, mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned, large tree tops and branches snapped off, shallow rooted trees knocked over, moving vehicles blown off roads, and small boats pulled from moorings.
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS: When making safety and preparedness decisions, do not focus on the exact forecast track, since hazards such as flooding rain, damaging wind gusts, storm surge, and tornadoes can extend well away from the center of the storm.
Always heed the advice of local officials and comply with orders that are issued. Do not needlessly jeopardize your life or the lives of others. When securing your property, outside preparations should be completed as soon as possible before conditions deteriorate.
The onset of strong winds or flooding can cause certain preparedness activities to become unsafe. Closely monitor https://weather.gov, NOAA Weather Radio, and local news outlets for official storm information.
Listen for possible changes to the forecast. There is threat of tornadoes with this storm. Have multiple ways to receive Tornado Warnings. Be ready to shelter quickly in case a tornado is spotted or a Tornado Warning is issued.
ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF INFORMATION:
For information on appropriate preparations see http://ready.gov
For information on creating an emergency plan see http://getagameplan.org
For additional disaster preparedness information see http://redcross.org