Emergency Operations Center prepares for Hurricane Florence

Ridgefield’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is monitoring Hurricane Florence along with storms Isaac and Hellene all of which are moving across the Atlantic toward the US east coast.

Florence is predicted to come ashore in the Carolinas on Friday and then meander over the mid-Atlantic states as it dies. While Florence’s direct impact on the area may turn out to be minor, Emergency Manager Dick Aarons has initiated the EOC's storm protocols. EOC personnel have completed their readiness checks for the hurricane season, and all Ridgefielders are urged  to do the same — get prepared.

Excellent preparedness checklists can be found at  Ready.gov  and ridgefieldct.org. The EOC’s Facebook site (www.facebook.com/RidgefieldOEM/)   and Twitter site  (twitter.com/Ridgefield_OEM)  are excellent sources for information during the response and recovery phases of any emergency/disaster. The Facebook page can be used to report downed trees and blocked roads.

Be sure your generator is serviced, and that you have enough batteries, food, prescription meds and toiletries to last a week should any of these storms create an extended power outage.  Consider obtaining a charger for you cell phone that can be plugged into your car’s accessory receptacle, and don’t forget to keep fuel tanks full. In addition to canned and other non-spoilable foods, you should have drinkable water on hand. The rule of thumb is a gallon per day for humans and large pets.

Keep the  Eversource outage reporting number — 800-286-2000 -- near a phone or in your contacts list. If the lights go out, report the situation to Eversource.  Don’t assume a neighbor has done so. The more calls Eversource gets, the more likely you are to get service restored. Remember — 911 is for emergencies only.

All Ridgefield first responders are trained to consider any downed power line is energized and lethal. They are taught to avoid any contact with downed lines until cleared by an Eversource line technician. You should do the same. Any downed line can kill whether powered by the utility or a carelessly installed neighborhood generator. Don’t forget to check on your neighbors, especially the elderly who may not be able to complete their own preparations.

Being prepared at home and in the workplace is the best step you can take to protect you, your family and your neighbors during any emergency.