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Tropical Storm Isais Resources

Connecticut was hit hard by Tropical Storm Isaias and I’m working with federal, state, and local officials to assist residents in need. As of 1:45 P.M. Thursday, August 6th, there were approximately 519,000 Eversource customers without service. This is unacceptable and I am in full support of the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority’s (PURA) investigation into how the state’s public utilities prepared for the storm.

Right now, the most important task at hand is to restore power and to ensure those in need have access to resources. Governor Lamont declared a State of Emergency in Connecticut and has requested that President Trump issue a federal declaration of emergency for the state. I joined the Connecticut Congressional Delegation in sending a letter to the President urging him to grant this request in order to begin mobilizing federal assistance.

As we deal with the storm’s aftermath, I want to share some important resources with you.

Shelter Needs:

If you are in need of emergency shelter because of damage to your home caused by Tropical Storm Isaias please contact CT Red Cross by calling 877-287-3327.

Outage Updates:

For the latest information from Eversource you can visit their website, Twitter, or Facebook pages. If you are experiencing an outage you can call Eversource at 1-800-286-2000, or text ‘OUT’ to 23129, or report it here. And for your safety, please stay far away from any downed wires and report them to 911.

For the latest information from your local municipalities, please visit their social media pages or websites. Many municipalities have set up charging stations please visit their pages for updates.

Food Safety:

When in doubt, throw it out. If you have experienced a power outage the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends the following when it comes to food safety:

  • The refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened.
  • A full freezer will keep the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.

For more recommendations from the FDA when it comes to food safety during power outages and flooding please visit their website here.

If you receive SNAP benefits and experienced food loss due to power outages caused by Tropical Storm Isaias, you may qualify for food replacement. Click here for more information and to apply.

Generator Safety:

If you are using a generator while waiting for your power to be restored, please be careful and watch for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. Here are some safety tips from the Center for Disease Control:

  • Never use a gas range or oven to heat a home.
  • Never leave the motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage.
  • Never use a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine inside your home, basement, or garage or less than 20 feet from any window, door, or vent. Use an extension cord that is more than 20 feet long to keep the generator at a safe distance.
  • When using a generator, use a battery-powered or battery backup CO detector in your home.
  • Never run a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine inside a basement, garage, or other enclosed structure, even if the doors or windows are open, unless the equipment is professionally installed and vented. Keep vents and flues free of debris, especially if winds are high. Flying debris can block ventilation lines.
  • Never use a charcoal grill, hibachi, lantern, or portable camping stove inside a home, tent, or camper.
  • If conditions are too hot or too cold, seek shelter with friends or at a community shelter.
  • If CO poisoning is suspected, call 911 or your local Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 or consult a health care professional right away.

More information from the CDC can be found here.

Beware of Scammers:

After storms, scammers can often try to take advantage of people who need contract work done. Here are some tips from the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) is urging residents to be cautious when hiring contractors for repairs:

Avoid doing business with someone who:

  • Requires that you pay in cash, by wire transfer, or in any form of untraceable payment;
  • Refuses to offer you a contract in writing (contracts are required by law in the State of Connecticut);
  • Offers you an incredibly low cost for work that needs to be completed, under the condition that you commit immediately;
  • Knocks on your door, or otherwise solicits business specifically from you (instead of you going to them);
  • Doesn’t provide references; and
  • Will not provide proof of their credentials.

Before you commit to a contractor, you should:

  • Ensure that a contractor has the appropriate credentials for the work they’re performing by visiting elicense.ct.gov;
  • Check references, and specifically request references from those who have had work done similar to what you need done. (For example, if you need your windows replaced, get a reference from someone who has also had their windows replaced);
  • Get quotes from multiple contractors;
  • Make sure you have a written contract, read it in its entirety, and ask any questions you may have before signing; and
  • Be prepared to pay in a traceable form like check, or credit card.

CT DEEP Warning:

*Please note the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has issued a warning, advising residents against contact recreation in the Connecticut River over the next 48 hours due to a sewage release in Massachusetts. More information can be found here.

My office is continually monitoring recovery efforts and will be doing everything we can to assist residents of the First District and municipal and state leaders.

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