Gov. Lamont Declares State of Emergency in Advance of Tropical Storm Henri

Governor Orders Activation of the State Emergency Operations Center

Friday, Aug. 20, 2021 — 7 p.m.:  Gov. Ned Lamont declared a civil preparedness emergency as Tropical Storm Henri is projected to move toward Connecticut in the coming days and strengthen to a hurricane before making landfall. According to a news alert issued from the governor’s office, the state of emergency “enables the state to take any actions necessary to protect the health and wellbeing of the people of Connecticut.”

Lamont will also be requesting a “presidential pre-landfall emergency declaration” to provide the state with federal assistance in anticipation of the impacts of the storm. The governor spoke with officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) who pledged assistance and resources to support Connecticut’s response and anticipated recovery from the storm.

The governor has directed the CT State Emergency Operations Center to become partially activated on Saturday, Aug. 21, and fully activated by the morning of Sunday, Aug. 22. It will be staffed by representatives of the relevant state agencies, in addition to utility company representatives, in order to monitor and manage any issues that may arise as a result of the storm.

Lamont has also called up 200 members of the National Guard to state active duty beginning on Saturday morning to prepare teams and specialized equipment in support of the state’s response. Expected missions include high-wheeled vehicle search and rescue, route clearance, power generation, and commodities distribution, but may shift depending on the actual impact of the storm.

Friday afternoon, Lamont organized a statewide conference call between state emergency management officials and municipal representatives to coordinate preparedness activities among the state and local levels.

Current forecasts project that the storm will become a Category I hurricane on Saturday morning, and then make landfall on Sunday evening near the area of Stonington, along the Rhode Island border. As of this afternoon, the National Weather Service has issued hurricane watches for New London, Middlesex, and New Haven Counties. A tropical storm watch has been issued for Fairfield County. Additional watches and warnings are anticipated.

“With the current forecasted track of Henri, we can expect heavy rainfall and high winds, with the potential for a significant amount of coastal flooding and urban flooding across Connecticut,” Lamont said. “Right now, it’s a good idea for everyone to be prepared and expect to shelter in place by Sunday afternoon through at least Monday morning. We’ll continue to monitor the storm’s progress and will provide updates as necessary.”

State officials offered hurricane preparedness tips:

Recommended items to include in a 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 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 need items, including diapers for infants
  • Cleaning supplies that disinfect for COVID-19 and face masks should they be needed at a shelter

Family emergency plan

  • Be sure you and 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 phone number and has a cell phone, coins, or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact.
  • Plan ahead and pre-set a family group text conversation in your phones. Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through, and it uses less battery life.
  • Subscribe to alert services through CTAlert. Visit the CTAlert website to register.

Connecticut residents are encouraged to download the state’s CTPrepares app for mobile devices. The app, which can be downloaded at no charge from the Apple iTunes store and the Google Play store, provides information that is useful in emergency situations and gives preparedness tips in advance of an emergency.