Stonington First Selectman Edward Haberek Jr. said the town is in “72 hour mode; we’re gangbusters, now,” as it prepares for an imminent Hurricane Irene.
“We’re in good shape,” he said as he proceeded to run down what preparations have already been made as he and other town officials put an emergency plan into action.
“We just got out of our second meeting and we’re prepared. Everyone needs to be,” he said.
Haberek, Borough Warden Paul Burgess and “critical staff” members of the , , and , as well as school officials met twice Thursday; in the morning and again after a state emergency management briefing.
Sandbags, 2,000 of them are at the ready for the Pawcatuck River dike. has been prepared as the town's official shelter with a Red Cross trailer already on site.
A meeting of officials from town emergency agencies including police, fire and ambulance is slated for tonight to discuss communication coordination. Haberek said the town is “set to go” to alert
residents of potential evacuation plans—should it come to that—via mass phone and email messages as well as a “door-to-door plan.”
Haberek said that a number of school buses and drivers will be at the ready to evacuate people in low-lying areas should it be required. He encouraged residents of those areas and the Borough in particular to check out the town website to view 100 and 500-year flood prone zone maps on the interactive GIS link.
Haberek said that the special needs members of the community, about 60 individuals (especially those serviced by visiting nurses) will be contacted directly.
The town’s Emergency Operations Center at will activate as Irene moves closer.
And Haberek said that pets will be permitted at the shelter in the auxiliary gym but all pets must be caged, have plenty of food and the owner must remian with the pets. He said the Groton Animal Control may have cages available.
“We are absolutely focused on making sure we have everything in place,” he said, adding that residents can get updated information on the town website at www.stonington-ct.gov, his Stonington-Mystic Patch blog at , his Facebook and Twitter pages and on his blog at http://ehaberek.wordpress.com/.