In the wake of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma’s devastation of Texas and Florida in the past few weeks, Gov. Dannell Malloy and New Haven Mayor Toni Harp are urging the citizens of Connecticut to prepare for a storm to reach the Northeast.
In the midst of hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, Harp and Malloy held a press conference Tuesday along with the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner Dora Schrir suggesting that residents create preparations in the event of an emergency. Since 2011, Connecticut has experienced six storms recognized by the president as major disasters, a designation relevant to national recovery funding. After each one, the state has built more infrastructure to deal with future storms, so residents should not be concerned, Malloy said.
“We should always have preparations in place — the time to prepare for the possibility of any major storm impacting our communities is now, not when it is just days away,” Malloy said in a press release.
The officials promoted a new app, CTPrepares, that includes several features to assist residents before, during and after a storm. The app, available on iOS and Android, includes preparation guides for multiple types of natural disasters with step-by-step instructions on how to stay safe during these emergencies and what to do once the storm subsides. CTPrepares also includes a list of state contacts and a feature for users to mark themselves as “safe” to family and friends if caught in a storm.
The issue of hurricane preparedness has garnered renewed attention this month following the quick succession of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, two deadly storms that made landfall on the Southern portions of the United States this month. The widespread flooding caused by these storms left many nonevacuated residents stranded without food, water or power and at risk of drowning.
Harp used these disasters as a warning to the citizens of New Haven and the state of Connecticut as a whole.
“As literally millions of Texas residents have learned, there is no such thing as being overly prepared,” she said at the press conference.
This is a sentiment that Malloy echoed, saying that even though it is too soon to be sure if Hurricane Irma or another hurricane will hit Connecticut this season, it is not too early for citizens and the local governments to begin preparations in the case one does occur.
Schrir suggested that as part of these preparations, citizens familiarize themselves with local evacuation routes and with which parts of the state’s infrastructure to avoid in the event of a storm surge.
Malloy’s office also distributed a list of important items to include in an emergency kit such as flashlights, nonperishable foods, water and first-aid kits.
Jesse Nadel | firstname.lastname@example.org