Preparing to respond to emergency as Henri moves towards Connecticut
FARMINGTON, CT – As Tropical Storm Henri takes aim at the northeast coast of the U.S. as a possible hurricane this weekend, the American Red Cross is preparing to shelter and support families in the path of this storm if needed.
Henri is forecast to reach hurricane strength Sunday and impact the northeast coast on Sunday and Monday. The storm could carry strong winds and flooding from heavy rain and a high storm surge to areas of southern New England and eastern Long Island. Hurricane, tropical storm and storm surge watches are in effect for portions of Connecticut. Additional watches or warnings are likely.
The Red Cross has pre-positioned shelter and relief supplies in advance of the storm and has volunteers ready to help people in need. In coordination with local officials, the Red Cross is prepared to open hurricane evacuation shelters if requested. We are also working with community partners and emergency responders to be ready to provide aid after Henri passes if needed.
“Red Cross volunteers are working around the clock to help prepare our community for Henri,” said Mario Bruno, CEO, American Red Cross Connecticut and Rhode Island Region. “Right now, the safety of Connecticut residents is of the utmost importance. We urge people who may be in the storm’s path to finish their storm preparations now, which includes putting together an emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate.”
Emergency preparedness kits may include items such as a gallon of water per person, per day, non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, first aid kit, medications, supplies for an infant and pets if applicable, a multi-purpose tool, personal hygiene items, copies of important papers, cell phone chargers, extra cash, blankets, maps of the area and emergency contact information. Because of the pandemic, include a mask for everyone in your household.
As Red Cross teams prepare to respond to the potential impacts of the storm, they are encouraging the community to take steps now to prepare as COVID-19 may change many of our prior emergency preparedness plans:
- Know the difference between a watch and warning. A WATCH means a hurricane, tropical storm or flooding is possible. A WARNING means conditions are expected within 36 hours. Take immediate precautions.
- Get your home ready. Cover windows with storm shutters or plywood. Store outside items, such as lawn furniture and trash cans, to prevent them from being moved by high winds and possibly hurting someone.
- Tune into your local radio, NOAA radio or news channels for the latest updates. Obey evacuation orders from local officials.
- Check your emergency kit and replace any missing items.
- Prepare to evacuate quickly and know your routes and destinations.
- Fill your car’s gas tank, in case an evacuation notice is issued.
- Never ride out a severe storm in a mobile home, even if it’s in a non-evacuation zone.
- Don’t forget your pets. Bring them indoors and maintain direct control of them. Prepare a pet emergency kit with leashes or carriers, food, water, bowls, cat litter and box, and photos of you with your pet in case you are separated.
- Stay indoors; avoid beaches, riverbanks and floodwaters. Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding. Don’t walk, swim or drive through floodwaters. Remember: Turn around, don’t drown.
- Use flashlights in the dark if the power goes out. Avoid using candles.
Download the free Red Cross Emergency App for real-time weather alerts, open shelters and expert advice on emergency situations. The Emergency App includes an “I’m Safe” feature that helps people check on loved ones. Search “American Red Cross” in app stores, or go to redcross.org/apps.
The Red Cross has guidance available in multiple languages on getting prepared while still protecting yourself from COVID-19 here.