First Selectman Bill Brennan on behalf of the Wilton Emergency Management Team sent an alert on Thursday afternoon, urging town residents to prepare in the possibility that Wilton will be in the path of Hurricane Joaquin. Officials also released an advance emergency management preparation guide with suggested steps to take.
“The Town’s Emergency Management Team urges all citizens to start preparations to cope with a serious storm that most likely will impact our area, as early as Sunday evening, Oct. 4. Stay tuned to local media for further updates. Take action now. We will continue to provide updates as we obtain more information.”
According to the town alert, as of Thursday afternoon Hurricane Joaquin is forecasted to make landfall in New Jersey early Tuesday morning, with a significant impact on CT soon thereafter. However, given that landfall is more than four days away, the forecast models are unclear as to the exact track of the storm. Even though it could track out to sea, it could track north and make landfall in Connecticut. As of Thursday morning, the National Weather Service was forecasting the possibility of Tropical Storm conditions Sunday night through Monday.
The Wilton Emergency Management Team will continue to monitor the track of Hurricane Joaquin and forecasts from the National Weather Service. Updates, warnings and/or emergency messages will be posted on the Town website as well as the Wilton Emergency Management and Wilton CERT Facebook pages.
The town provided a guide of preparedness steps to take, stating: “Please begin taking the necessary preparations now.”
Advance Preparations to Take Right Now
- Make sure that you have a Storm/Disaster Preparedness Kit (Sample Disaster Kit contents list is below).
- If you have not already done so, register to have the CodeRED emergency management status update messages sent to your cell and/or home phone. Click HERE to do so or go to the Town website homepage and click on the CodeRED icon in the lower left. Registering will allow you to receive important updates directly from Wilton’s Emergency Response Center.
Actions To Complete Before The Storm Arrives
In the hours before the storm arrives, focus on limiting the damage that could be caused by high winds, as well as downed trees and power lines, including:
- Make sure gutters and downspouts are clear of debris
- Check and clear any storm drains near your home
- Secure deck/patio furniture and other yard items
- Make sure that the manual release for any electric garage door openers are working correctly so that you will be able to get your car(s) out of the garage during a power outage
- If very high winds are expected, consider placing plywood over glass windows and doors and/or duct tape on large windows to minimize damage
- Make sure that you know where your utility (gas, electricity, etc.) shut offs are
- We recommend that every home have an inventory of household and valuable items. If you do not have one, we suggest that you use your cell phone to video the entire inside and outside of your home to document the contents and conditions before the storm. Should you have to file an insurance claim, this will be a great way for the insurance company to verify the conditions prior to any damage having been sustained.
- Verify and write down the phone number to report an insurance claim, as well as the name and phone number of your insurance agent.
- Fill vehicle fuel tanks
- Turn refrigerators and freezers to the coldest setting. Keep them closed as much as possible so that food will last longer if the power goes out.
Sample Disaster Preparedness Kit
- Water: at least 1 gal. daily per person for at least three days. Don’t forget some for your pets.
- Food: at least enough non-perishable, easy to prepare food for three days
— non-perishable packaged or canned food/juices
— foods for infants or the elderly
— snack foods (Peanut butter; breakfast bars; crackers; canned fruit; raisins; chips, etc.)
— non-electric can opener
— cooking tools/fuel
— paper plates/plastic utensils/paper cups
- First Aid Kit
- Medicines & Prescription Drugs: Have at least seven days’ supply
- Special Items: for babies, family members with functional needs and the elderly
- Toiletries: as well as hygiene items/moisture wipes
- Waterless Soap saves water for drinking
- Radio: Battery operated and NOAA weather radio
- Tools: keep a set with you during the storm. A pocket knife, nails, a hammer and rope are important elements. Towels and buckets are useful too if you develop a leak.
- Trash bags and Duct Tape: useful for clean-up, or patching leaks in an emergency
- Pet care items
— proper identification/immunization records/medications
— ample supply of food and water
— a carrier or cage
— muzzle and leash