Red Cross gets ready for emergencies and you should too

FARMINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) – Hurricane seasons is just three weeks away, and that means just three weeks to make sure your home and family are prepared.

The Red Cross cut the ribbon on a new Emergency Response Vehicle Monday morning. It has hidden shelving, foldable benches, and retractable ramps.

“It’s been set up for food delivery, client casework, bulk distribution, everything we would need in a disaster,” explained Jon Basso, the American Red Cross Connecticut Emergency Services Director.

The vehicle is the kind of thing you hope you never need, but it is good to have. A grant from The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving paid for the rig.

“This is a vehicle that was actually designed by volunteers for volunteers,” said American Red Cross Chief Program Officer Richard Branigan.

Which means the ERV has features designed to make those volunteers more comfortable and efficient. It will be used locally, and deployed for large-scale national disaster. If it were deployed to the current big national disaster, it would be at helping victims of the flooding in Missouri. It would pull up to the edge of a flooded neighborhood, and start serving hot meals right out of the big side windows.

Of course, it will be used right here in Connecticut as well. They are always prepared for disasters around here, and you should be prepared for those disasters as well.

“By taking the time and preparing properly makes for a much smoother transition when a storm is approaching,” said Battalion Chief Anthony Fabrizi of the Milford Fire Department.

This is hurricane preparedness week and Milford has been hit hard by past storms. Experts say make a kit and a plan. That kit should include three days worth of food, and a gallon of water per person per day in case of a bad storm. Also, include any prescription medication and important papers.

“Important insurance documents are very important because if your home suffers any form of damage, you may not be able to get back in the home to retrieve these items,” Fabrizi said.

Also, you and your family should plan ahead where everyone should go in case of an evacuation. You do not want to rely on the Red Cross, but at least you know they have the best equipment.

Milford has its own emergency management website.

The state of Connecticut has a website full of good information.

On the federal level, FEMA has a list of ways to prepare, as well.

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