Don't wing it, Shelton residents: Prepare for emergencies now

The following article was provided by the Shelton Department of Emergency Management, headed by city Public Safety Director Michael Maglione. Some of the information comes from FEMA.

Winging it is not an emergency plan. Plan in advance what you will do in an emergency. Be prepared to assess the situation. Use common sense.

We should all have a documented emergency plan that was developed with family members. If you do not have family nearby, the plan should be developed with friends.

Documentation is the key. Why? Because everyone then will know what procedures you and your family will be following prior to — and at the time of — an emergency. Everyone will know your contact numbers and email addresses.

Be informed about how to prepare for — and what might happen — before, during and after an event. Sources of information would be local and national media, the Weather channel; and local government (, state (, and federal ( websites.

Sign up for Code Red

The city of Shelton has a CodeRed system. If you have a land-line you are already in the system.

To register other communication devices on the CodeRed system, log onto the Shelton Police Department website (, or fill out a Code Red form in-person at Police Department headquarters, 85 Wheeler St., or the mayor’s office at City Hall.

Have emergency kits ready

Put together a kit of emergency supplies. Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer.

Consider two kits. In one, put everything you will need to stay where you are and make it on your own. The other should be a lightweight, smaller version you can take with you if you have to get away.

You will need a gallon of water per person per day for drinking and sanitation.

Include in the kits a three-day supply of non-perishable foods that is easy to store and prepare, such as protein bars, dried fruit or canned foods. If you live in a cold weather climate, include warm cloths and a sleeping bag for each family member.

Have a communication plan

Develop a family communication plan. Consider a plan where each family member calls, emails or texts the same friend or relative in the event of an emergency.

It may be easier to make a long distance phone call then to call across town during an emergency, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separate family members.

Be patient — remember that everyone will be trying to contact others.

Select places to meet in advance

Develop a plan to get away. Plan in advance how you will assemble your family and where you will go. Choose several destinations in different directions so you have options in an emergency.

If you have a car keep at least a half tank of gas in it at all times. Become familiar with alternate routes as well as other means of transportation out of your area.

If you do not have a car, how will you leave if you have to?

This information is not all inclusive. The websites mentioned earlier can provide more detailed information.