Thursday, August 25, 2011

Storm's A' Comin'

Someone asked me today if I am prepared for the expected hurricane and if I have my emergency kit ready. I was about to say, well, I know right where my wind-up flashlight is and I think there are a few beers in my fridge, how's that for prepared? And my spouse jumped in saying, "We used up all our emergency supplies in the earthquake." His sarcasm highlighted the idea that it just seems so unlikely that any natural disaster could hit us here in Middletown and have us really pulling out those kits. There is sometimes a fine line between confident preparedness and falling for the hype, working yourself up into a ball of anxiety about "what if." I do my best to strike a healthy balance, and feel like I'm not too concerned about it, and will deal with whatever I need to at the time if anything happens.

The City of Middletown does have something official to say about it. Their statement is below:

Contact: Louis Carta

Phone: 860- 344-3482

August 25, 2011

Cell: 860-398-1824


Planning Underway To Respond To Storm Damage

Middletown — Mayor Sebastian Giuliano said that the city is gearing up to deal with the impending arrival of Hurricane Irene in the next few days.

The Mayor reported that his office has been working with emergency management services, police, fire, health and other departments on ways to respond to any potential problems that may arise from the storm and its remnants. However, Giuliano suggested that residents take the advice of the American Red Cross and begin making their own storm-preparation plans.

The Red Cross recommends the following

  • Have a three-day supply of water for every household member (one gallon per person, per day) on-hand along with food which doesn’t require refrigeration, flashlights, a battery-operated radio and a first aid kit.

  • Have several days of any prescriptions that you or family members are taking.

  • Have extra food and medications for pets.

  • Bring items inside which may be carried by the wind.

  • Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances.

  • Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest settings as the storm approaches so that food will last longer if the power goes out.

  • Fill your vehicles gas tank.

  • Close windows, doors and shutters during high winds. Consider boarding windows and doors with plywood.

The police and fire departments warned residents to avoid coming in contact with downed power lines.

Residents affected by the storm are asked not to call 911 unless there is a police, fire, or medical emergency or are in eminent danger.

Mayor Giuliano said that additional information, including possible shelter openings, will be forth-coming and available through the media as well as on the city’s website @


Jam said...

As a former Coast Guard Officer, I've seen first hand what a hurricane can do...even one downgraded to a tropical storm as it hits land. I have to take issue with the attitude that just because New England doesn't see hurricanes very often, that preparedness shouldn't be taken seriously. The point of being prepared is that you can handle the worst case scenario, which you can never fully predict in advance. No one in New Orleans predicted broken levees after Katrina, but had more people actually heeded the advice to evacuate, there would have been a lot less casualties.

The point is, you don't have to be crazy but you should be prepared for a couple days without power. Gas stations and stores are going to have a hard time selling the supplies you'll suddenly want after the fact if there's a prolonged power outage.

In the end, no one ever suffers from being TOO prepared, and we should be seriously thankful that we have the ability to see this coming a ways off. Other places like Thailand and Haiti and Japan weren't so fortunate in that regard, and I bet there are a whole host of people who wish they'd had the opportunity to have even a little bit of forewarning,..

Elizabeth Bobrick said...

I have a real question I hope someone can answer for me. Do we really need to turn off our propane tanks? Why? Ours are attached to the house and have a wooden structure around them. I don't mind not being able to check my email -- indeed, I welcome the opportunity -- but not being able to use our gas stove is another matter.
Thanks to anyone who can answer this!

Anonymous said...

The answer is simple. If the wind blows it over breaking the pipe or if the wind blows something into the gas pipe breaking could have a leak and potential disaster/explosion. I hope this helps.

Tree Fanatic said...

I think the reason is primarily that the tank is pressurized to feed the propane into your house, and so are the lines when the valve is turned on. Should something hit the tank (a tree, for example) that breaks through your enclosure and ruptures the tank, the propane all the way to your stove could explode. I think there was a case last winter of a house in Portland that blew up when a snowplow hit the propane tank. You could check with your propane supplier, who surely knows more than I do...