As chaotic weather patterns wrought by climate change continue to worsen, hurricanes are becoming more common - even here in the Northeast. As we are at the height of hurricane season, it's important to make sure you're prepared to respond.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs each year from June 1 to November 30, with the principal threat period for Connecticut occurring between mid-August and mid-October.
Here are some things you can do to make sure you're ready at a moment's notice:
Download the state's CTPrepares app on your mobile device. It's free on Apple iTunes or Google Play stores. This app provides Connecticut residents with information that is useful in emergency situations and also gives preparedness tips in advance of an emergency. Additional preparedness tips can be found online at ct.gov/ctprepares.
Follow the Connecticut Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security’s social media pages for weekly preparedness tips throughout the preparedness month.
Familiarize yourself with hurricane evacuation routes in your area. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
Trim trees and shrubs around your home to make them more wind-resistant.
Clear clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
Bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans, and anything else that is not tied down.
Find additional information for Before a Hurricane on the Connecticut Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security website.
During the hurricane:
Stay tuned to the radio and your local news station for official weather information.
Follow all instructions and advice given by emergency officials.
Stay indoors during a hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
Close all interior doors.
Secure and brace all exterior doors.
Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level of your residence.
If you live in a mobile home, plan to leave. Mobile homes are unsafe in high winds.
Do not attempt to evacuate during the height of a hurricane. You are safer batten down in your home than out on the road where flying debris can be hazardous.
Find additional information for During a Hurricane on the Connecticut Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security website.
After the hurricane:
Continue to listen for the latest updates on the radio and your local news station regarding extended rainfall and subsequent flooding after the hurricane has ended.
If you evacuated your home, only return when officials say it is safe to do so.
If you cannot return home and need to stay in a shelter, contact your local Emergency Management Office to find out about shelter locations near you.
Drive only if necessary, avoiding flooded roads and washed-out bridges.
Keep away from loose, damaged power lines and report them immediately to the utility company.
Stay out of any building if you smell gas, if floodwaters remain, or if your home was damaged by fire and the authorities have not declared it safe.
Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage to both the building and its contents for insurance purposes. If you have doubts about safety, have your residence inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer before entering.
Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it is not contaminated.
Find additional information for After a Hurricane on the Connecticut Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security website.
The full list for preparing for hurricanes can also be found HERE.
Other Ways to Stay Informed
Follow your local emergency personnel on social media.
Reach out to 2-1-1 - Connecticut 2-1-1 provides informational services to the public during disasters. Call 2-1-1 if you need help finding specific resources or basic information before, during, and after a disaster. Resources are also available on the 2-1-1 website.
Sign up for CT Alerts - CT Alert is an enrollment-based notification system that is used to notify the public of upcoming emergency situations. Sign up HERE.