Governor Lamont Declaring State of Emergency in Advance of Tropical Storm Henri
Governor Orders Activation of the State Emergency Operations Center
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that as Tropical Storm Henri is projected to move toward Connecticut in the coming days and strengthen to a hurricane before making landfall, he will be requesting a presidential pre-landfall emergency declaration to provide the state with federal assistance in anticipation of the impacts of the storm. Additionally, the governor will be issuing a declaration of civil preparedness emergency to enable the state to take any actions necessary to protect the health and wellbeing of the people of Connecticut.
The governor has directed the Connecticut State Emergency Operations Center to become partially activated on Saturday, August 21, and fully activated by the morning of Sunday, August 22. It will be staffed by representatives of the relevant state agencies, in addition to utility company representatives, in order to monitor and manage any issues that may arise as a result of the storm.
At the order of Governor Lamont, Major General Francis Evon, Adjutant General and Commander of the Connecticut National Guard, is calling 200 Guardsmen and women to state active duty beginning on Saturday morning to prepare teams and specialized equipment in support of the state’s response. Expected missions include high-wheeled vehicle search and rescue, route clearance, power generation, and commodities distribution, but may shift depending on the actual impact of the storm.
Earlier today, Governor Lamont spoke via telephone with Deanne Criswell, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Paul Ford, FEMA’s acting regional administrator for New England, to discuss preparedness efforts. The federal officials pledged assistance and resources to support Connecticut’s response and anticipated recovery from the storm.
This afternoon, Governor Lamont organized a statewide conference call between state emergency management officials and municipal representatives to coordinate preparedness activities among the state and local levels.
Current forecasts project that the storm will become a Category 1 hurricane on Saturday morning, and then make landfall on Sunday evening near the area of Stonington, Connecticut, along the Rhode Island border. As of this afternoon, the National Weather Service has issued hurricane watches for New London, Middlesex, and New Haven Counties. A tropical storm watch has been issued for Fairfield County. Additional watches and warnings are anticipated.
“With the current forecasted track of Henri, we can expect heavy rainfall and high winds, with the potential for a significant amount of coastal flooding and urban flooding across Connecticut,” Governor Lamont said. “Right now, it’s a good idea for everyone to be prepared and expect to shelter in place by Sunday afternoon through at least Monday morning. We’ll continue to monitor the storm’s progress and will provide updates as necessary.”
“We’ve learned from Super Storm Sandy and Hurricane Irene that preparation at staging areas ahead of the storm making landfall is key to a quick and effective response,” Major General Evon said. “We are standing by to support the state and the lead agencies however we can and we will be prepared to bring in additional Guardsmen and resources if asked to do so.”
The following list includes some hurricane preparedness tips:
Recommended items to include in a basic emergency supply kit
- One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- A whistle to signal for help
- Garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- A manual can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
- Food and litter requirements for any pets
- Medicine or any special need items, including diapers for infants
- Cleaning supplies that disinfect for COVID-19 and face masks should they be needed at a shelter
Family emergency plan
- Be sure you and family members are aware of local shelter locations and your evacuation zone, especially if you live along the shoreline.
- Identify an out-of-town contact. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
- Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has a cell phone, coins, or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact.
- Plan ahead and pre-set a family group text conversation in your phones. Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through, and it uses less battery life.
- Subscribe to alert services through CTAlert. Go to www.ct.gov/ctalert to register.
Connecticut residents are encouraged to download the state’s CTPrepares app for mobile devices. The app, which can be downloaded at no charge from the Apple iTunes store and the Google Play store, provides information that is useful in emergency situations and gives preparedness tips in advance of an emergency.