Wednesday October 07, 2015

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To minimize injuries, and property loss from fire, hazardous conditions, rescue situations, and other disasters, by providing excellent state of the art, life and
property conservation, emergency and educational services while recognizing our people as our most important resource and the key to our success!

Are you prepared?
As Hurricane Joaquin continues to develop with the potential for an effect on Connecticut, the American Red Cross is urging Connecticut residents to begin their preparedness actions now in the event of an impact on Connecticut and in case local authorities issue evacuation orders. 
The Connecticut Red Cross is currently taking steps to prepare for the storm; we are contacting our volunteers to determine their availability, checking our supplies and readying our plans. We are in communication with state and local government officials to coordinate their efforts. 
While the storm's path is still being determined, we don't know what impact Joaquin may ultimately bring to us, but there could be flooding or wind damage that would disrupt power and potentially force people to leave their homes. We want people to be ready to spend a few days without power or to be able to leave their homes quickly, if ordered.
The Red Cross encourages families to be prepared by taking the following steps:
Download the free hurricane app.  The hurricane app sends location-based weather alerts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It includes tips on how assemble an emergency kit for your family in the event of a power outage or evacuation, an "I'm Safe" button to let loved ones know you are okay, and a real-time map to help you find the location of Red Cross shelters should you need to leave your home. The hurricane app also includes a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and alarm. The app has a Spanish language toggle switch and can be downloaded by visiting redcross.org/apps. 
Create a family evacuation plan.  Use local maps and identify alternate evacuation routes from home, work and/or school. Know where you are going and how you plan to get there before you leave home. Include your pets in your evacuation plan. If it is not safe for you, it is not safe for them. Develop a family communication plan by identifying an out-of-area contact person that family members and friends cancall if you are separated from one another. Watch TV, listen to AM/FM or NOAA weather radio and check the Internet often for official news.
Update your emergency preparedness kit. Ensure your kit has the following items:Water - one gallon per person, per day;  non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food; a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, flashlight and plenty of extra batteries; a first aid kit; prescription and non-prescription medication items (seven-day supply); copies of important documents; cell phone chargers; sanitation and personal hygiene item; extra cash; and pet supplies.
Prepare your home.  Close all windows and doors. Cover windows with storm shutters or plywood. Make trees more wind resistant by removing diseased and damaged limbs, then strategically removing branches so that wind can blow through. Strengthen garage doors and unreinforced masonry. Move or secure lawn furniture, outdoor decorations or ornaments, trash cans, hanging plants and anything else that can be picked up by wind and become a projectile.
If you need to evacuate, do so immediately. Follow the direction of local authorities on which routes to take, which evacuation shelters to seek, and other important advice. To locate the nearest Red Cross emergency shelter, check your hurricane app or visit redcross.org/shelter. If you do not have Internet access, call the [chapter name] chapter at [chapter phone number] for information. Keep listening for updates, as the intensity and the path of the hurricane can change quickly, and without notice. Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. The floodwaters may still be rising, and most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
For more information on what to do before, during and after a hurricane, please visit redcross.org/prepare/disaster/hurricane. Hurricane preparedness checklists are available in several common languages.
Connecticut residents are also encouraged to visit the Department of Emergency Services & Public Protection website at http://www.ct.gov/demhs/site/default.asp or their local town emergency management website for additional information on the storm and to stay up-to-date.
You can also follow the local Red Cross on Twitter at @CTRedCross contact us at at 1-877-287-3327, visit redcross.org/ct or call 1-800-REDCROSS. We urge you to share these Red Cross hurricane preparedness tips with every member of your household, because the best protection is to be prepared ahead of time.   

Thank you in advance for helping to prepare our community. 
Mario J. Bruno, CEO
American Red Cross
Connecticut and Rhode Island Region  
PS: Follow us on social media
Like us on Facebook   ctredcross            riredcross 
Follow us on Twitter  @ctredcross         @riredcross 

As we turn another page on the calendar we are beginning our back to school adventures and we must remember to be on the lookout for children at bus stops and Flashing Red Light bus signals, which everyone (even fire trucks, police cars, and ambulances) must stop. 


This is also a bitter sweet time where our recent high school graduates are heading off to school to begin a new chapter of learning and growing.  Please remind your college bound student that fires can occur anytime and anywhere.  Be sure the smoke detector in the dorm room works and never burn candles, use hot plates or prohibited electrical items that could cause an electrical short and possible fire.  Just as you have exit strategies at home, have your college student take a few minutes to review the layout of the dorm and locate the nearest and an alternate exit in case a fire does occur and the building must be evacuated. 


Along with the back to school activities September begins our fall clean up including closing pools for the season.  We remind our pool owners to be careful when using winterizing chemicals that safety is all important to ensure your pool closing efforts are successful.  Keep your pool chemicals away from children and pets, always follow the instructions carefully for use and store them in a secure and dry area.


Stay Safe


Jim Baldis

Chief , Simsbury Fire Department


As you pass any of the six Fire Stations in Simsbury you may not notice where they are located and what is behind the garage doors.  Our Fire Stations are strategically placed throughout the town to maximize protection and the complement of equipment benefits Simsbury residents and businesses with a favorable Fire Insurance Rating.

In the closing weeks of the summer and moving into fall you may take a hike on Talcott Mountain or a kayak ride on the Farmington River. When you do please know that the members of the Simsbury Volunteer Fire Company stand ready to help you if you find yourself in distress. To facilitate this protection Simsbury has two boats and an ATV for rescue operations.


We can deploy our boats for a river rescue and on the mountain we can find and transport a lost or injured hiker. We also possess all the equipment necessary to perform a high angle rescue. Our members train for these situations year round so we remain sharp and able to immediately provide the best rescue methods necessary.

My hope is that you safely enjoy the remainder of the 2015 summer and I encourage you to make certain that you let someone know of your water recreation plans and enter the woods with a fully charged cell phone.


This link is to the DEEP website with a map of Talcott Mountain State Park.  http://www.ct.gov/deep/lib/deep/stateparks/maps/talcgis.pdf 

I recommending downloading the map and reviewing it before you head out.


Jim Baldis


With summer upon us we must pay attention to the fast changing weather that comes through our area. 

The Farmington Valley is often impacted by storms that come from the Northwest out of Albany, New York passing through Canton and Granby and then into Simsbury. Storms also approach from the South and enter Simsbury from Avon via the Farmington River Valley.  In some cases, seemingly mild storm fronts become severe when they encounter the natural barrier of Talcott Mountain.  These storms can change in severity very quickly and may result in heavy rain, hail, severe lightning, and damaging winds. 

As we enjoy all of our summertime outdoor activities we need to be aware of weather conditions that can change quickly and we must immediately seek shelter when a heavy storm approaches.  Today we have many ways to receive alerts of quickly changing weather and it is very important to understand what each term means.  Smartphone weather apps from local radio and television stations are some of the best ways to stay aware of the changes in our weather.

The following is some of the information available from the National Weather Service at their website www.weather.gov which will help you be better informed so you can stay safe while you enjoy the summer activities and events here in Simsbury and surrounding areas.


Watches, Warnings and Cells.  What do they mean to me?

We are all familiar with the terms because we’ve heard them but do we really know what they mean?

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service website glossary ( http://w1.weather.gov/glossary/ ) these are the Watch and Warning terms and definitions you may hear.


A watch is used when the risk of a hazardous weather or hydrologic event has increased significantly, but its occurrence, location, and/or timing is still uncertain. It is intended to provide enough lead time so that those who need to set their plans in motion can do so.

Watch Box

(or simply "Box") - slang for a Severe Thunderstorm Watch or Tornado Watch issued by the SPC.

Watch Cancellation

This product will be issued to let the public know when either a Tornado Watch or Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been canceled early. It is issued by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, Oklahoma. In the text of the statement it will specify the severe weather watch number and the area which the watch covered.

Watch Redefining Statement

This product tells the public which counties/parishes are included in the watch. This is done not only by writing them all out, but by using the county FIPS codes in the Header of the product. It is issued by the local National Weather Service Forecast Office (WFO).

Watch Status Reports

This product lets the NWFO know of the status of the current severe weather watch (Tornado or Severe Thunderstorm). During the severe weather watch, the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) will issue these reports periodically. These reports will describe, in plain language, the current evaluation of the severe weather situation and whether the watch will expire or be reissued. A status report is not issued if a cancellation or replacement has been issued at least 1 hour prior to the expiration time of the original watch.


A warning is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is occurring, is imminent, or has a very high probability of occurring. A warning is used for conditions posing a threat to life or property.


Convection in the form of a single updraft, downdraft, or updraft/downdraft couplet, typically seen as a vertical dome or tower as in a towering cumulus cloud. A typical thunderstorm consists of several cells.


In today’s day of technology we are often “plugged” into real time information especially with regards to weather reports.  Use this information to help you plan and to keep you and your friends and family safe.

Here is a link that may help you in the event you are caught in severe thunder and lightning storm.



Enjoy a SAFE summer!

Jim Baldis, Chief

Remembering the Fallen

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