Hurricane preparedness tips

Though Hurricane Earl is expected to skirt the Northeast coast rather than hammer the region directly, tropical storm rains and winds could still lash through southern Connecticut and our local communities Friday and Saturday.

For those wishing to err on the side of caution, the federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends homeowners take the following steps before a hurricane hits in order to minimize safety hazards and potential property damage:

  • Secure your home or business with storm shutters or by boarding up windows with 5/8” marine plywood. Tape will not prevent windows from breaking.
  • Install straps or clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure.
  • Be sure trees and shrubs around the house are well-trimmed.
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • If you have a boat, determine how and where to secure it.
  • Listen to the radio or TV for information.
  • Turn off the utilities if instructed to do so.
  • Turn off propane tanks and avoid using the phone.

During a hurricane, FEMA recommends you stay indoors and away from windows and glass doors. All interior and external doors should be closed and braced, and all curtains and blinds should be kept closed. You should take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level and/or lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also recommends families develop an emergency plan, which includes informing all family members of potential risks, establishing escape routes and meeting places, designating a safe room(s), stocking up on emergency supplies and checking insurance coverage (flood damage is usually not covered by homeowner’s insurance).

Hurricane Earl is expected to weaken before passing over Cape Cod and Nantucket Friday night. It appears more than likely southern Connecticut will experience nothing more than moderate tropical storm conditions. Track the storm here.