Safety tips offered in case Hurricane Jose hits Greenwich
GREENWICH — While Greenwich is not expected to receive the brunt of Hurricane Jose, the town is urging its residents to be on their guard and prepare for possible heavy rains and wind.
Southern Fairfield County, which includes Greenwich, is under a tropical storm watch and rain is expected throughout Tuesday and Wednesday. While the watch said the potential impact of the storm is expected to be limited, it could have wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour with potential threats from falling trees and branches as well as possible power outages.
The town’s Department of Health put out an alert on Monday to make people aware of the town’s emergency disaster phone number at 866-245-4260. The number is put into use only during emergencies and other times people will only get a recording when they call. It is used to report emergencies and all other police, fire or EMS calls should go to 911.
“Due to the potential inclement weather moving into the lower Fairfield County area in the next 48 hours as a result of Hurricane Jose, there is every possibility that tropical storm-like conditions will bring heavy rains, local flooding and possible power outages,” the department said in a press release.
The town’s reverse 911 system will be used to send out updates to residents if needed and information will also be posted online at www.greenwichct.org .
According to the town’s Department of Health, people should have emergency supplies like candles, flashlights and battery powered radios on hand along with first aid items like bandages, blankets, special medicines and a first aid handbook. Additionally, people should have a one-gallon of water per person a day supply in an emergency along with a supply of non-perishable goods that require no cooking or refrigeration and a can opener.
The town also suggested having emergency material like wire, rope, chlorine disinfectant, fire extinguishers, extra blankets, lumber and sandbags on hand.
No flood warnings have been issued for Greenwich as of Monday afternoon but if there is flooding people should turn off their furnaces and gas valves at the appliance. People should not handle electrical equipment in wet areas and if the meter goes under water
If there is flooding, private wells that have been flooded must be disinfected before being used again. People will have to wait until flood waters recede to use waste disposal and septic systems normally. Well drilling companies can do this and the town recommends people drink bottled water in the meantime.
If the power does go out due to the high winds, rain and potential tree damage, people should keep their vehicles off the streets so emergency response crews can access areas to clear trees, wires and, if needed respond to medical emergencies.
In a power outage residents are advised to unplug appliances and keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. If anticipating a power failure, people can set their refrigerators and freezers to colder temperatures to build up a cooling reserve. If doors are kept closed, a fully stacked freezer will keep food safe for two days and half full freezer will do it for one day. People can use dry use safely in freezers but it should be handled with gloves and used according to instruction.
If food thaws during a power outages it can be cooked if it was maintained below 45 degrees and should be discarded if not. People should not refreeze food once it thaws. In a refrigerator, items like eggs, milk, fish, meat and poultry should be maintained at 45 degrees or below and food should be cooked or discarded after three hours if not at proper temperature.
More information can be found by calling the town’s Division of Environmental Health at 203-622-7838.
On Monday, Eversource Energy put out a statement urging customers to be prepared and saying it had crews, including ones returning from Florida and Texas after Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, at its disposal.
“We continue to carefully monitor Jose’s path and are ready to address impacts to the electric system,” said Peter Clarke, Senior Vice President of Emergency Preparedness for Eversource. “We’re confident our ongoing technology upgrades, combined with our tried and tested emergency response plan, enables us to safely and efficiently handle issues that may arise.”