|A road at Seaside Park|
It was 16 days ago when Hurricane Irene hit Connecticut as a Category 1 hurricane. She knocked out the power, flooded roads, delayed school openings, and did a good amount of damage. The photo on the right is of my feet standing not on the beach, but on a main road. Sand washed up and covered areas of the beach side of Seaside Park in Bridgeport, CT, where sand usually does not belong. Employees of the Park and Recreation department worked feverishly to get the parks ready to be used for the Labor Day holiday.
Connecticut was not the only state hit. Hurricane Irene left her mark in the Caribbean, the entire East Coast of the United States and the Atlantic part of Canada. News reports indicated that Connecticut had not seen a storm of Irene’s magnitude since Hurricane Gloria in 1985.
On Friday, August 26th, I went out grocery shopping with my mom and was a little surprised at what I saw. Granted, having worked in a grocery store for ten years, I have seen people always panic in times of potentially dangerous storms. However, some things made me wonder if people actual know what to do in case of a storm. For example, shopping carts, while they were overflowing with bread, canned goods and water; there were tons of perishables to. Question: Why stock up on meats that need to be refrigerated if you might lose power? If you had a generator at home in case this happened, then you are fine. But if not, then 🙁 .
Since the weather is getting a little crazy, earthquakes included, I thought we could go over basics today. An ode to hurricanes if you will.
If you are like myself, and do not partake in the daily ritual of watching the news, have no fear, someone will mention it in passing. Once you do hear this though, LISTEN TO THE NEWS. Potentially dangerous storms will get news coverage on TV and on the radio. They give constant updates on the weather, and any information that is important for you to know in your area.
We then listen for what kind of announcements are being given. If we hear Hurricane Watch, this means that the storm is 36ish hours away and you should stay tuned for upcoming advisory warnings. If we hear Hurricane Warning, this means that the storm is 24 hours away. At this point, if you are in areas that require evacuation, GET OUT!
During the Hurricane Watch you should take into consideration the following:
- Check to make sure that all flashlights have batteries
- Candles, if needed are available with lighters or matches.
- If a generator is required, good luck. As we saw from this past storm, generators sold out quickly and those who had them to sell, raised prices.
- Fill up your gas tank. I put gas in the car that Saturday afternoon and I wish I had thought about it earlier. Cars were pouring out into the street as they waited their turn to get to the gas pump. Why is this a good idea? In case power lines go down, gas stations may not have power to get their pumps running or power to take your money to pay for the gas. Also in case you have to evacuate, it is better to already have a gassed up car, then to have to scramble for some at the last minute.
- Have clean water to use for drinking and other minor household needs. Keep this in mind especially if your home relies on well water.
- Take a shower. Most homes have electric water heaters. If the power goes, there goes your shower. I know a few people that lost power but had gas water heaters so they were able to have hot water to take a shower.
- Secure your home. If you need to board up windows and surround the house with sand bags, it might be a good idea to do so at the first signs of warning.
- Make arrangements for pets. Because of prior hurricanes, where home owners did not leave their homes because they did not want to abandon pets, this last storm took that into consideration. Pets were allowed in local shelters and that eased some of the worry.
- Take pictures of your property. My mom had me do this right before the storm hit. Some insurance companies require proof of the homes condition prior to the storm to approve insurance payouts.
- Think about loved ones and neighbors if they need help. It might be a good idea to have family members that live alone come and stay with you, or vise versa.
- Do you have a land line? Telephones that plug directly into the phone plug still work during power outages. Unfortunately, cordless phones, require electricity and do not work during power outages.
- Have telephone numbers handy to your power supplier (ex: UI) and listen on the radio/TV for who to call in case trees come down/flooding. Keep 911 free for emergency calls only. In the event that a tree does come down on a wire and the power goes out, do not assume that officials are aware of it. Also do not assume that your neighbor has already called.
- During the storm and after, stay indoors. Debris and flooding will make it difficult to drive around. Strong winds are not something to get caught in.
- Stay away from fallen trees and down power lines. The first fatality that I heard on the news was one where someone went near a tree that knocked down power lines. He died upon impact. Report it to the number you wrote down in step 12.
- Be prepared to have power out in your area from a few hours to a week. My household was very lucky. Our power went out for a total of hour hours during the storm. I know people that did not have power for over a week.
|Pier at the end of the park, ripped to shreds, only the skeleton remains|
If you’d like to get more information on hurricanes and what to do in case one comes your way you can do so by visiting The National Hurricane Center.
You can check out the damage of Hurricane Irene on the beach of Seaside Park by visiting the photo album on My Pocketful Of Thoughts Facebook page titled After Hurricane Irene. If you haven’t already, click like, if you like the Facebook page.