Preparing for the next big storm

A Connecticut shoreline home is boarded up in advance of a storm (file).

EAST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — This is the season for big storms — Irene three years ago, and Sandy two years ago. Are you ready for the next one? Today marks the start of National Preparedness Month.

Officals are urging residents to be ready for an emergency. Here’s a list of things you should consider when getting ready in advance of the next big storm:

  • Be sure every family member knows the phone number and has a cell phone, coins, or a prepaid card to call an emergency contact.
  • Teach family how to use text messaging. Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to work.
  • Subscribe to alert services. Many communities now have systems that will send instant text alerts or emails.
  • Build a disaster supply kit — a collection of basic household items you may need

Just as important as putting your supplies together is maintaining them so they are safe to use when needed. Here are some tips to keep your supplies ready and in good condition.

  • Keep canned food in a cool, dry place.
  • Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers to protect from pests and to extend its shelf life.
  • Throw out any canned good that becomes swollen, dented or corroded.
  • Use foods before they go bad and replace them with fresh supplies.
  • Place new items at the back of the storage area and older ones in the front.
  • Change stored food and every six months. Be sure to write the date you store it on all containers.

Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.

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