New Canaan EOC Announces Storm Plans

Lapham Community Center to serve as shelter. Special hotline set up for questions.

Our Town is faced with an extremely dangerous, challenging and unprecedented situation with the . 

For the past 24 hours, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has been and their property to the maximum extent possible.  Since New Canaan will be subject to winds in excess of — and possibly with gusts over 100 mph — we expect that numerous trees and wires will be downed and power and communications disrupted for an extended period.  Federal and state highways may be closed for several days.  As such, all residents are encouraged to plan on being self-sufficient for seven days and have adequate food and water.

Residents living in areas that have experienced flooding in the past should consider alternative living arrangements now – trying to evacuate during the storm will be fruitless.  During the height of the Hurricane, emergency responders may not be able to respond due to high winds.  Afterwards, roads may be impassible for days.  Residents with special needs and lacking standby generators therefore are also encouraged to make alternative arrangements now.

Shelter:  The Town is providing shelter for New Canaan citizens at the , which will open at 12 noon on Saturday.  The Center is located at 677 South Avenue and residents should enter from South Avenue. The will also be available to all residents, during normal business hours, for showers (they have a generator).  The has committed to remaining open for residents (however, that is power-dependant as they do not have a stand-by generator).

Information:  We anticipate that the 911 Call Center will be extremely busy during Hurricane Irene urge you to refrain from calling for non-emergency issues.  The EOC has set up a separate call center to answer questions regarding the storm at 203-594-4100.  Only real emergencies should be reported through 911.

The EOC encourages all residents to sign up to receive special announcements via the Town’s out-call system — via telephone, text and email by logging into www.newcanaan.info and following the “Emergency Call Out System” link.  Announcements about shelters, road closures, etc. will be disseminated via this system, local media and the town website.  Alternatively, you can e-mail the EOC at  jim.cole@newcanaanct.gov.  Include your name, address and phone number

Schools: The has announced that the first day of school has been moved to Wednesday, August 31st.  Parents are also advised that there is a strong possibility that additional cancelations may be required.  A decision with respect to such additional cancellations will be made by Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. 

Safety Measures:

  • Secure all outdoor items such as lawn furniture, umbrellas, and other objects that can become air-bourn missiles in high winds.
  • Make sure gutters and down spouts are in good order and discharge at least 6 feet away from your foundation.
  • If power is lost and you have no generator, make sure you have a car charger for your cell phones.
  • Stay off the roads during the storm.  Road conditions are expected to be extremely hazardous — at best.
  • Emergency services will be using traffic barricaded and caution tape to mark-off/close down areas that are impassible due to downed trees and wires. DO NOT move or by-pass the barriers – they are there for your safety and you may be heading into live power lines on the ground.
  • Never trust a down wire.  Just because it is not arcing and sparking it may still be live.  Even CL&P workers still use full protective gear when removing down wires.






Sheryl Shaker August 26, 2011 at 11:03 PM
The New Canaan EOC has started a Facebook page to bring important news to residents. It's being run by the talented Nick Howard, a NCHS student we've gotten to know here at Patch. Here's a link to the EOC Facebook page. Like them and stay informed: http://on.fb.me/n0tXHy (Of course, Patch will continue to keep you informed, too.)
Jane Himmel August 27, 2011 at 01:30 AM
Are we supposed to do something about our propane tanks? I've got one for my stove and fireplace. The weather service says to shut them down. And, what about the gas grill? Can't bring that inside (or at least not the gas tank). Where should we put that?
Jane Himmel August 27, 2011 at 01:49 AM
also, should we be moving heavy planters inside (if we can lift them!!). How heavy does something have to be to withstand hurricane winds? Or, do we not need to be THAT worried about the winds?
MPM August 27, 2011 at 02:17 AM
Jane, I posted a list of things to do to prepare for a hurricane on Randy Brown's recent article about mitigating hurricane damage. My suggestions are based on 20 years of living in the tropics and surviving such hurricanes as Andrew, Frances, Katrina (yes that one). Regarding the inconvenience/difficulty of putting things away, which would you rather? Put the grill away in a safe place OR deal with your insurance company when it goes through the neighbor's siding/ window/ what have you? One of the dangers of a hurricane (that few realize) is that tornadoes can develop with in the storm, creating pockets of even more damaging weather.
Jane Himmel August 27, 2011 at 02:20 AM
mpm, i WAS asking where to put it. I wasn't concerned about the inconvenience of it. You can't put a gas tank inside, though, so what safe place do you recommend?
Jane Himmel August 27, 2011 at 02:22 AM
I am also trying to figure out what to bring inside and what is okay to leave outside. I mean if the planter is weighed down with dirt, is that okay to leave outside. And, it isn't just a matter of "convenience." I don't know if we can physically move some of this stuff. So, I'm wondering if it's okay to leave it if it's too heavy.
NewCanaanVoter August 27, 2011 at 05:06 AM
"You can't put a gas tank inside, though, so what safe place do you recommend?" Why not just bury it for a couple days.
Fred Baker August 27, 2011 at 11:47 AM
Larger propane tanks and fuel oil tanks adjacent to your home should be ok during this event. Grills and other similar objects should be moved into the garage or a shed - including their tanks. Another option is to lash them to the deck railing (assuming you have one) or, lash it to a tree. Pots and planters to heavy to move will be OK where they are - although they may tip over. Thanks for the comments and questions. Fred Baker
Sheryl Shaker August 27, 2011 at 02:57 PM
Got questions about preparing for the storm? Ask them here and we'll get you answers.
Strays and Others, Inc. August 27, 2011 at 07:33 PM
Sheryl - what is the plan for pets? If someone's house is damaged or they have to leave it, and they have pets, where can they go that is pet friendly? I see on the Stamford Patch that the City has made arrangements for pet friendly "people" shelters. Do we have anything like that here?
Sheryl Shaker August 27, 2011 at 09:38 PM
Strays and Others: If you bring your pets to Lapham, Animal Control will take them and shelter them for you.


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