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Greenwich Daily Voice serves Greenwich, CT
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Is Your Greenwich Family Hurricane-Ready?

GREENWICH, Conn. — First an earthquake shook the ground in Greenwich, now a hurricane threatens to bring heavy rain, wind, coastal flooding and possible damages to the area by Sunday, according to the National Weather Service .

Hurricane Irene was upgraded to a Category 3 hurricane Wednesday, calling for a storm surge of 9 to 12 feet and sustained winds of 111 to 130 mph. Damage in a Category 3 storm may be extensive on small buildings with low roofs, large trees and branches, and it may also cause power and water outages.

Only five hurricanes have passed within 75 miles of New York City since 1851 — Hurricane Gloria was the most recent 26 years ago, according to Weather.com.

During hurricane season, Greenwich reviews its emergency operations plan , monitors any threatening weather and communicates regularly with town utilities and the Greenwich chapter of the American Red Cross.

Here are some tips for before, during or after the storm:

• Hold a family meeting to discuss the hazards of hurricanes and determine the need to evacuate or relocate. Homes close to the water may need to be prepared to relocate before a storm’s arrival.

• Review insurance policies and secure important papers and valuables.

• Check the roof, windows, doors and landscaping and take precautions, such as removing weak branches from trees; checking shingles, tiles panels and gutters and securing when necessary; closing all windows; and securely fastening shutters.

• Accommodate all pets if you must evacuate. Space will be limited in pet-sheltering facilities.

• Gather supplies, including food, water and medications, and prepare a hurricane survival kit .

• Choose a safe room — an interior room with no windows — if you need immediate protection.

• Let family, friends and caregivers know about your plans and assemble a list of important phone numbers and contacts.

• Prepare a water supply and maintain essential needs by prefilling sinks and tubs with water; filling one gallon containers for drinking purposes; setting your refrigerator/freezer on its coldest setting; and getting cash, filling gas tanks and charging cell phones.

The town will order hurricane evacuations, if necessary. Deciding to leave on your own earlier may be the best decision, especially if you have special needs. The Red Cross and Greenwich will set up shelters, if needed, but accommodations will be basic.

Sign up for email alerts from the town Office of Emergency Management or call the emergency information line at 1-866-245-4260 for the most up-to-date information on the hurricane.

How are you preparing for the impending storm? Comment below or email ahelhoski@thedailygreenwich.com.

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