Monday, June 04, 2012


Hurricane season is here, so be prepared

Even before hurricane season officially began June 1, we already had two named storms, including Tropical Storm Beryl, which barreled up the east coast and passed to the southeast of Connecticut.

Last year, of course, we were hit by Hurricane Irene, the first significant hurricane in eastern Connecticut in quite some time.

These are not-so-subtle reminders that “be prepared” is not just a great motto for the Boy Scouts — it’s important for everyone.

So, before the next natural disaster hits, review and act on these tips that I have compiled from a variety of sources:

•  Devise a plan. Take time before the storm hits to discuss what to do with your family and neighbors, including finding a safe place, escape routes, important phone numbers, what to do with your pets and check insurance coverage.
•  Secure your home. Bring in any objects that can be blown around, close windows and doors, shut off propane tanks and, if the storm is imminent, turn refrigerators and freezers up so food will stay fresh longer if you lose power.
•  Make a kit. Make sure you have the supplies you need, such as water, food, first aid kit, prescription drugs, full vehicle fuel tanks, toiletries, flashlights, batteries, radio, fully charged cell phones, clothing, sleeping supplies, clothing, cash, keys, copies of important documents, tools, maps, camera for photos of damage and specialty items for children, the elderly and pets.

Living in New England, we learn time and again that we can be the target of many natural disasters — hurricanes, blizzards, floods, tornadoes, violent thunderstorms and even earthquakes. Being prepared helps to limit the damage or improve quality of life, and can even mean the difference between life and death.

Andrew Ellis is the Associate Administrator of Facilities and Operations at The William W. Backus Hospital. This column should not replace advice or instruction from your personal healthcare provider. If you want to comment on this column or others, visit the Healthy Living blog at or e-mail Mr. Ellis or any of the Healthy Living columnists at

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