Media has focused on the effects of last year’s storms, but officials are now looking at how to prepare their towns for future weather. As bad as last year’s power outages were, authorities say that neither of the two storms were as bad as they might have been.
“Tropical storm Irene only took down less than 5% of the state's trees. A Category three hurricane, like the one that hit New England in 1938, would take down an estimated 60% to 70%,” First selectman Matt Knickerbocker said. “If that happens, and FEMA says it's a matter of "when", not "if", the power outages can be expected to be far longer.”
Last year’s floods have turned to this year’s Red Flag Fire Hazard warnings. said this month is on the road to be a record breakingly dry April. “The humidity is crazy low. March was one of the top ten driest for that month. In April, we had 1/4 inch of rain in the beginning of the month and yesterday, we had 1/100 of an inch.”
Jacquemine said at this point, the state is on it’s way to a drought, and no storms are on the horizon.
This year is a balance to last year’s weather, Jacquemine said, but admitted that while pleasant, “Sometimes nothing happening can be as bad as what happened last year.”
After a presentation cosponsored by FEMA and the state Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS), Knickerbocker reported, “Town emergency management and elected officials were told they should be prepared to take on a greater role in storm response when it comes to sheltering larger numbers of our local population.”
Laura Vasile, Director of Health, Bethel Department of Health wrote, "My mantra is Be informed, Make a plan, build a kit and get involved."
"Families, the community and local government, respond most effectively to emergencies when everyone involved is prepared and comes together to resolve the problems that occur during and after an emergency.
"Bethel's First Selectman, Emergency Management Director, the Superintendent of Schools, local responders, CERTs, and the public health and medical response volunteers are continually training and refining our ability to rapidly and effectively respond to large scale emergencies in Bethel."
Vasile said to check out www.ready.gov . "This FEMA website has all the info a family needs to be prepared and in the best position possible when large scale problems occur."
Are you prepared for natural disasters? Now might be a good time to think about how to prepare your family in case of an emergency. has several flyers available outside of their office in the Municipal Building and the National Weather Service, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has a checklist to create a Disaster Supply Kit.
Also check out the same site for Creating a Family Plan. There are suggestions such as arranging a place for everyone to meet and having an out-of-state friend or relative’s contact number that everyone will report to, so everyone knows they are all safe.
Prepare ahead of time for what you will do with your pets if you must leave.
Keep a battery operated radio, and plenty of batteries, which can be hard to find just before a hurricane.
Have last year’s power outages effected your long term planning?