As September approaches, we are reminded that this month is the peak of hurricane season in the Atlantic basin, and winter is only a few months away. The May 15 storm is behind us, with lessons learned and a reminder to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature may send our way. The National Weather Service recommends having enough food , water and other supplies on hand to last for 72 hours. As we learned on May 15, it is not unrealistic for New Fairfield residents to be isolated and without power for an extended period of time. A basic emergency kit should include:
You may also consider:
I also recommend participating in the “Alert Now” system to receive notification from the Selectman’s Office regarding weather alerts and emergency response. Following the May 15 storm, I used “Alert Now” to provide information on road closures, power restoration and shelter services. You may choose to receive notification by land line phone, cell phone, text and/or e-mail. To sign up for the service, fill out the form on the Home Page of the Town Website, www.newfairfield.org. Emergency information will also be posted on the website, as well as on the Town Facebook Page “Town of New Fairfield CT”.
Finally, if you or a family member has special medical needs that could be impacted by an extended power outage or other emergency, please contact the New Fairfield Director of Emergency Management at 203-312-5723 to complete a “Medical Disability or Special Assistance Notification Form.” This information will remain confidential, but will alert emergency responders to your needs.
The Town is also always taking steps to improve preparedness. This fall, we are accepting applications for a CERT (Community Emergency Response Team). CERT is a training program that prepares members to help the community and assist emergency responders in the event of a disaster. CERT members assist with basic first aid, emergency shelter operations, traffic management, and damage assessment. If you already signed up for CERT training, thank you! If you are interested, please contact the Emergency Management Director at 203-312-5723.
May 15 Storm Update – Debris removal is now complete. Town contractors continue to remove leaning and damaged trees. Please report dangerous trees on town right of ways to firstname.lastname@example.org As reported earlier, President Trump signed a Disaster Declaration for our area allocating funds for public assistance on August 20. However, on August 24, Individual Assistance was denied by FEMA. I have written a letter to Governor Malloy urging him to appeal this decision on behalf of the affected towns. If your property has been substantially impacted by the storm, I encourage you to contact our elected officials as well. That’s all for now – have a great week, and don’t hesitate to call with any questions you may have 203-312-5600.
– Pat Del Monaco, First Selectman