Emergency Preparedness

SIMULATION: A Category Four(4) Hurricane is approaching Norfolk.

The purpose of the Hurricane Readiness Plan is to provide a systematic approach to follow in the event of a hurricane with emphasis on ongoing safety, awareness, preparedness and long-term survivability

DAY ONE T-minus 12 HOURS (12 hrs. before the hurricane hits Norfolk)

  • We will have been notified of the impending weather by radio, TV,  weather radio and Litchfield County Dispatch (LCD, the 911 center) will alert all Fire Department personnel.
  • **Pending Emergency Management Director and Selectmen approval**, We will also use reverse 911 to notify and warn all Norfolk phone numbers and indivuals that have been registered their cellular phone number with CT ALERT) that a serious weather event is coming and that they should gas-up their vehicles and generators and have food and water stored for up to 7 days.
  • DAY TWO AND DAY THREE (The hurricane has come over us, winds have subsided)
  • Our Highway Department and our Fire Department personnel will be responding to emergencies and will begin clearing roads. We are anticipating most telephone lines and power line will have been disrupted.
  • If necessary, the Fire Department will begin door-to-door visits to acquire information about the condition of the residence. That information will be radioed back to the Fire Dept. HQ and solutions will be planned and executed. If you have a damaged home and intend to leave your home, please let us know so our first respondors conducting a door to door inspection will not loose valuable time looking for you.


  • as available, Commodities will be distributed by a special volunteer group.
    9-1-1 for all emergencies unless otherwise advised!


Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P)  1-800-286-2000

CL&P Outage report




  • United Illuminating: 1-800-722-5584


  • Connecticut Red Cross: 1-877-287-3327


  • American Red Cross: 1-800-RED-CROSS


  • United Way Infoline: 211

Power line, telephone lines and normal retail commerce will be disrupted. Some residents may need a supply of life-sustaining commodities. these comodities will be managed thru Emergency Managment as available.


The town may provide shelter depending on the condition of suitable building with that capacity and the availablility of Civilian Emergency Response Team (CERT) members.


Glossary of Hurricane-Related Terms
The following are definitions of terms, used by the National Hurricane Center in their forecasts, which will help you better understand the extent of the threat posed by a hurricane.
•  Advisory: A formal message from the National Hurricane Center, issued every six hours, providing details on location, intensity and movement of a tropical cyclone.
•  Hurricane Eye: The relatively calm area near the center of a storm. The duration of the “Calm” may last from several minutes to over an hour, depending on the size and speed of the hurricane. The “Calm” usually ends suddenly as winds return, possibly with even greater force.
• Hurricane Warning: This warning indicates that a hurricane, with sustained winds of at least 74 mph, is to be expected in 24 hours or less. At this point, hurricane preparedness plans must be finalized. Hurricane warnings are seldom issued more than 24 hours in advance, and in cases of hurricanes with unusual or erratic paths, the warning may be issued only a few hours before landfall.
• Hurricane Watch: A hurricane watch indicates that hurricane conditions are a strong possibility and may threaten a given area within 36 hours. This advisory does not necessarily mean a hurricane is imminent, however you must initiate your hurricane preparedness activities.
• Intermediate advisories: Advisories are issued at two or three hour intervals, between regularly schedules advisories, whenever a storm nears a coast.
•  Storm Surge: A dome-like rise in ocean level associated with a hurricane. The difference between this abnormal rise in sea level and the level that normally occurs is called the storm surge. It is highest along and to the immediate right of the location where the eye of the hurricane strikes land.
•   Tornado Warning: If a tornado is reported in the area, a warning will be issued. Tornadoes spawned by hurricanes are capable of producing severe damage and casualties.
•   Tropical Depression: A non-frontal low pressure system which usually originates in the tropics, it rotates counter clockwise and achieves maximum sustained winds of 38 mph.
•  Tropical Storm: A non-frontal low pressure system which usually originates in the tropics, it rotates counter clockwise and achieves maximum sustained winds of 73 mph.
•  Tropical Storm Warning: This warning indicates that there is a strong possibility that a storm, with a wind speed of 39 to 73 mph, which could strike a given area within 24 hours.
•  Tropical Storm Watch: A tropical storm evolves from a tropical depression. This advisory means that a tropical storm could threaten a given area within 36 hours.


Hurricane Intensity


Categories, Wind Speed Storm Surge, Typical Effects
Category One Hurricane -- Weak
74-95 mph (64-82kt)
Minimal Damage: Damage is primarily to shrubbery, trees, foliage, and unanchored mobile homes. No real damage occurs in building structures. Some damage is done to poorly constructed signs.
4-5 ft (1.2-1.5m)
Low-lying coastal roads are inundated, minor pier damage occurs, some small craft in exposed anchorages torn from moorings.
Category Two Hurricane -- Moderate
96-110 mph (83-95kt)
Moderate Damage: Considerable damage is done to shrubbery and tree foliage, some trees are blown down. Major structural damage occurs to exposed mobile homes. Extensive damage occurs to poorly constructed signs. Some damage is done to roofing materials, windows, and doors; no major damage occurs to the building integrity of structures.
6-8 ft (1.8-2.4m)
Coastal roads and low-lying escape routes inland may be cut by rising water 2- 4 hours BEFORE the hurricane center arrives. Considerable pier damage occurs, marinas are flooded. Small craft in unprotected anchorages torn from moorings. Evacuation of some shoreline residences and low-lying island areas is required.
Category Three Hurricane -- Strong
111-130 mph (96-113kt)
Extensive damage: Foliage torn from trees and shrubbery; large trees blown down. Practically all poorly constructed signs are blown down. Some damage to roofing materials of buildings occurs, with some window and door damage. Some structural damage occurs to small buildings, residences and utility buildings. Mobile homes are destroyed. There is a minor amount of failure of curtain walls (in framed buildings).
9-12 ft (2.7-3.7m)
Serious flooding occurs at the coast with many smaller structures near the coast destroyed. Larger structures near the coast are damaged by battering waves and floating debris. Low-lying escape routes inland may be cut by rising water 3-5 hours BEFORE the hurricane center arrives. Flat terrain 5 feet (1.5 m) or less above sea level flooded inland 8 miles or more. Evacuation of low- lying residences within several blocks of shoreline may be required.
Category Four Hurricane -- Very Strong
131-155 mph (114-135kt)
Extreme Damage: Shrubs and trees are blown down; all signs are down. Extensive roofing material and window and door damage occurs. Complete failure of roofs on many small residences occurs, and there is complete destruction of mobile homes. Some curtain walls experience failure.
13-18 ft (3.9-5.5m)
Flat terrain 10 feet (3 m) or less above sea level flooded inland as far as 6 miles (9.7 km). Major damage to lower floors of structures near the shore due to flooding and battering by waves and floating debris. Low-lying escape routes inland may be cut by rising water 3-5 hours BEFORE the hurricane center arrives. Major erosion of beaches occurs. Massive evacuation of ALL residences within 500 yards (457 m) of the shoreline may be required, and of single-story residences on low ground within 2 miles (3.2 km) of the shoreline.
Category Five Hurricane** -- Devastating
Greater than 155 mph (135kt)
Catastrophic Damage: Shrubs and trees are blown down; all signs are down. Considerable damage to roofs of buildings. Very severe and extensive window and door damage occurs. Complete failure of roof structures occurs on many residences and industrial buildings, and extensive shattering of glass in windows and doors occurs. Some complete buildings fail. Small buildings are overturned or blown away. Complete destruction of mobile homes occurs.
Greater than 18 ft (5.5m)
Major damage occurs to lower floors of all structures located less than 15 ft (4.6 m) above sea level and within 500 yards (457 m) of the shoreline. Low-lying escape routes inland are cut by rising water 3-5 hours BEFORE the hurricane center arrives. Major erosion of beaches occurs. Massive evacuation of residential areas on low ground within 5 to 10 MILES (8-16 km) of the shoreline may be required!



Before a Hurricane

To prepare for a hurricane, you should take the following measures:

  • - To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • - Know your surroundings.
  • - Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.
  • - Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
  • Make plans to secure your property:
  • - Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
  • - Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
  • - Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
  • - Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • - Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
  • - Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
  • - Determine how and where to secure your boat.
  • - Install a generator for emergencies.
  • - If in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor.