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TOWN OF CHESHIRE HURRICANE IRENE EMERGENCY RESPONSE

August 27, 2011 by Special To The ...

The following was submitted by Town officials in anticipation of Hurricane Irene:

Town and School personnel met this afternoon (Friday, August 26) to coordinate preparations and plan for Hurricane Irene. The storm is expected (as of noon today) to arrive sometime Sunday morning between dawn and noon as a Category 1 hurricane, with sustained high winds and very heavy rain. There will also be some heavy rains preceding the storm on Saturday evening.

SHELTER

· An Emergency Shelter will be opened at the Cheshire Senior Center at 240 Maple Avenue as of 7:00 a.m. on Sunday. There will be one bus operating only for emergency transportation to the shelter, until conditions become too dangerous. A second Emergency Shelter will be opened at Cheshire High School should it be necessary. These shelters are for emergency housing only; residents are reminded to bring their own provisions, medications and necessities.

STAFFING

· All critical Town sites will be staffed including all Fire Stations, with overnight staff at the Fire Department and Police Departments. Additional public safety and public works staff and crews are on call for the storm and for cleanup, and Waste Water Treatment Plant staff will be prepared to go out immediately in the event of a pump station failure.

· As directed by the Federal Emergency Response Model, for the safety of emergency personnel, they will respond only to life or death emergencies once conditions reach a certain critical level.

EQUIPMENT

· Heavy equipment, sandbags and plywood have been placed throughout the town to be readily and quickly available and accessible.

· Emergency generators are fueled and in place at the Senior Center, the Fire Department, Police Department, the Public Works Garage and Cheshire High School.

· Storm drains have been checked and cleared in potential water-problem areas, and signage is in place in those locations.

· The State will be using the Waterbury Road Commuter Lot as a regional staging area for emergency equipment and vehicles.

COMMUNICATIONS

· A communications protocol has been established among all key personnel.

· Communications to the public will be as detailed and frequent as necessary, via the Town website and local print and broadcast media and outgoing phone messages at key phone numbers; CodeRED Emergency Notification System will be used if necessary. Emergency and critical questions can be directed to Police Dispatch at (203) 271-5500. The public is asked to please keep these phone lines clear for critical and emergency calls only.

CLOSINGS AND CANCELLATIONS

· The Pool will be closed on Sunday, and there will be no Town programs on Sunday.

· Other Monday closures or cancellations will be determined as the situation is assessed.

The Town and the Schools are taking all precautions to ensure public safety and protect public property, however, residents are asked to please stay home and stay safe, and to be prepared for potential long-term power outages.

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