CT emergency officials gear up for hurricane season

With the start of the hurricane season, local emergency officials met Wednesday to discuss preparation measures for potentially hazardous storms.

The damage brought by Hurricane Gloria more than 20 years ago exposed Connecticut?s vulnerability. The state?s Department of Homeland Security hosted the seminar, which was held in West Haven. Emergency management officials in attendance discussed the hurricane threat.

?We share with them the lessons that we're learning from Katrina and then it helps them go back to their own community and make their community safer,? Wayne Sandford, of the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, said.

The 2007 hurricane forecast and methods of improving communications were on the seminar?s agenda.

Each emergency official went home from the seminar with copies of a brand new evacuation plan. The plan contains contact information for every town official, shelter, gas station and grocery store in Connecticut, and will enable residents to be prepared before an emergency situation occurs.

Problems like funding for increased manpower and cleanup work still exist. Potential power outages must also be dealt with.

?The governor has directed all the state agencies to work together, and it's starting to work. Are we at a 100 percent? No. But we're getting there,? Sandford said.

Connecticut's Department of Homeland Security also asked each of the state?s municipalities to purchase hi-band radios that will provide a direct line to the state. Only about 60 percent of the towns have purchased them so far. The department said it hopes the rest are on board by August, the peak of the hurricane season.

For an interview with Wayne Sandford, go to Channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.

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