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Irene, Sandy, Athena... What’s Next? Help Make Branford Less Vulnerable to Disasters

The South Central Regional Council of Governments (SCROG) wants your input for developing a multi-jurisdiction hazard mitigation plan so Branford and surrounding towns can become better prepared for disasters.

Officials from Branford spent countless hours preparing the town for Sandy’s strike. Following the storm, they put in even more hours to help keep residents stay safe and clean-up the mess. Now Branford and several other area towns are asking you to give back by participating in a hazard mitigation survey.

“The South Central Regional Council of Governments [SCROG] has been awarded a grant from the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to develop a Multi-Jurisdiction Hazard Mitigation Plan for Bethany, Branford, Hamden, Madison, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, Wallingford, West Haven and Woodbridge. The five additional municipalities in the Region (East Haven, Guilford, Meriden, Milford, and New Haven) have completed or are currently working on Hazard Mitigation Plans. They have been invited to participate in this planning process,” SCROG’s website says. They are looking for residents to participate in a brief survey about disaster planning and preparedness.

“The purpose of this plan is to identify and assess the region’s natural hazard risks (such as flooding, winter storms, tornadoes and wildfires) and determine how to best minimize or manage those risks,” the survey says.

“Upon completion, this plan will be presented to the local governing bodies of participating jurisdictions for adoption and then submitted to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for review and approval.” 

Eugene Livshits, SCROG Regional Planner, said the survey will be available through mid-January 2013;  by the end of February 2013 the results will be made available to the Advisory Committee, which consists of representatives from the participating municipalities and other stakeholders in the Region.  "The final version of the Mitigation Plan is scheduled for review by the State in September 2013," he said.

The survey asks questions about your personal experience with natural disasters and specifically asks you to rank, by importance, categories that are most susceptible to hazards in Branford. Reflecting on Irene and more recently Sandy, what area do you think is most susceptible?

  • People (loss of life)
  • Economic (business interruption, loss of jobs)
  • Infrastructure (damage to roads bridges utilities, schools)
  • Governance (ability to maintain order and provide public service)
  • Culture/historic (damage to libraries, museums, or history property)
  • Environmental (damage, contamination or loss of forest, wetlands, waterways) 

SCRCOG Hazard Mitigation Public Opinion Survey

Christina Burgess November 12, 2012 at 12:55 PM
Branford needs to address the Branford River flooding problem which affects many families. They need to look into ways to reduce the water level in the river as it has risen over the last several years. There is also an antiquated drainage system which needs to be addressed in the Blackstone Acres area of Branford. They need to address this problem ASAP as the water is an issue not only during disasters such as "Sandy" but on a regular basis.
SolarPete November 12, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Branford needs another exit for folks in the Tabor area If Indian neck floods along the beaches, and indian neck bridge floods and the always flooding Montowese underpass how are they to leaved. The town needs to have emergency generatprs located at all old schools as a back up plan for a place to go for help like a comfort station Everyone in the town needs to know where they can go to get free water, food from fema Fema needs to adress trailers for those who lose their homes. There needs to be a better look at addressing homes in flood stage areas raise them up 12' to help protect them better every neighborhood needs to have someone like a block captain to assist each area and report to the town leaders. This can help in response time. They did better this year than last, but what happens next time Also do what the folks in the south have done take breaker panels out of basements just incase of flooding. The best thing the town can do is learn from the mistakes and problems from NYC and NJ have been going through. Make sure gas stations have generators so they can pump fuel Teach folks on saving at least up to a week or more for food, water, etc till help can arrive Start teaching residents how to protect their homes from storms Florida has some great web sites to share experiences like http://www.pinellascounty.org/emergency/default.htm
SolarPete November 12, 2012 at 01:54 PM
http://mysafefloridahome.com/ learn how to make your home stronger to storms how to make your fences stronger to storms and teach folks about beafing up the attic roof area for wind. see if u can get inspectors to go to everyones homes and show them areas that should be beafed up the more u all know the safer u will become
SolarPete November 12, 2012 at 01:56 PM
http://historickenwood.org/info-neighbors this is a web site from my neighborhood that shares with others ideas on beafing up their home, yard etc
bball fan November 12, 2012 at 03:49 PM
OK, so every house in flood plains need to be raised 12 feet? And who pays for that? And how in the world do you do that? There are many homes in designated flood plains that have never gotten a drop of water in their house, even in Sandy. And it doesn't make sense to have a weeks worth of food if you don't have a generator to at least run the fridge. So now I suppose we need to make sure every resident has a generator too. Hell why not just send everybody on vacation during a storm too? People and businesses need to do what is important in their situation. But towns do have responsibilities for areas like Blackstone Acres and Meadow Street, to at least do what they can to eleviate repetitive problems, even in non severe storm situations.
SolarPete November 12, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Here in Florida any home in a flood prone area has flood insurance and newer homes get built 12'above a flood with a false bottom to be able to wash out for storms the a/c generator are abobe the flood stage height but these are rebuilt homes It is so foolish to rebuild right on the water when ever time you have storm surge they get flooded Who pays the home owner does or insurance does Most of the homes that are built like in areas of Summer Island use to be summer only homes now they are year round As far as food who says to stock up in frozen foods they invesnted can foods many years ago.. as far as Meadows street it was built on a marsh land that is why it floods all the time and it built below the sea level of the river Hammer Field also was a marsh land. I live in a non flooding zone here but I am only 25'above sea level my biggest concern is storm wind damage so I saved my money and invested in making my home stronger in a wind storm I live in an older home added shutters vent covers in the attic I did all I could do to make my house beafer and I paid for it either way you pay it in the insurance before or after the storm Homes down here are now required by insurance companies to be able to handle a storm my biggest concern was my solar but saw homes in NJ with the roofs still intacted with the panels It took me many years to get my home and yard ready for a storm Just because some houses did ok in Sandy what happens next time when they don't
bball fan November 12, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Thanks Solar Pete. So many practical things for people in CT. I'll start digging now to put my 50 year old house with a cement, below ground basement, up on stilts. And when I open the canned food, I will cook it on my electric stove. Oh wait the power is out. Instead I'll go spend $500 on a generator to save the $150 of food in my fridge. How about instead of millions of people preparing for these freak storms, the utilities and gov'ts do a little more planning and protecting, we are already paying them to do this now.
SolarPete November 12, 2012 at 09:30 PM
bballfan I got batter idea don't do anything and wait till the government comes to help you. Generators are for those who enjoy living in comfort during a storm Many folks enjoy having lights and ice water so forget the can food and Fema will get around to help you with generators, food, water, and clothes The Feds will come a calling to assist you because you don't want to try and protect your home But your insurance company I bet will add some new rules into the policies that you will have to do first if you want insurance! Here we are required to strenghten our homes roof rafters tied down, shutters, it will be coming if it's not there yet You are lucky they didn't call this a hurricane so your deductable for just damage is used not wind storm damage. Do you know how to camp? Do you have a working fire place? Ever heard of cooking on a gas stove, good old beanee weenies, Do you have an emergency kit?? I think you as well as so many others need to do the jobs of the utilities companies working round the clock to make sure you are ok Yes the government made it look like they were ready and from what I saw they are not They have a long way to go and each time there is a storm I find weekness in my home and make sure it's better protected next time. Here they tell us to have enough stuff for a week till help arrives!

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