Get Ready, Greenwich (Emergency Preparedness/Important Numbers)


Get Ready, Greenwich

[Greenwich] — Because natural disasters, disease outbreaks and other hazards can occur at any time, the Greenwich Department of Health reminds you that it’s important to be prepared. This September marks the 6th annual National Preparedness Month, as declared by the Department Of Homeland Security (DHS). It is as important as ever to be prepared for emergencies of all kinds. DHS Secretary Napolitano stated, “This month, we ask all Americans to visit to learn what they can do to help their families, businesses and communities stay safe during an emergency—whether it be hurricanes like Katrina, the fires we are fighting in California or pandemic influenza.”

An integral part of Emergency Preparedness in Fairfield County is personal readiness for hurricane season, which will last through November. Heavy sustained rainfall along with wind-driven waves may batter our coastline, causing local flooding and beach erosion. During hurricane season, residents should prepare for possible local flooding, power outages and relocation if needed.

Power Outages

Storm conditions can bring high winds, torrential rain, flooding and power outages when storm warnings are in effect. Stay tuned to the radio (local radio WGCH 1490 AM) or television Channel 12 for official bulletins. Keep a battery-powered radio handy, stay indoors and travel only if necessary. Motor vehicles should be kept off the street so emergency response crews can access the area to clear trees, service wires and respond to medical emergencies. Power outages can pose health hazards. Community shelters will be opened and available if needed. During power outages:

· Unplug your appliances

· Generators should be used with caution. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and NEVER operate a generator indoors. DO Not connect generator power to your home’s main line as you may injure a utility employee. Never let equipment or electrical cords sit in pooled water.

· Conserve fuel and water. A few large containers can be filled with warm water for an emergency supply.

· Observe health precautions when issued

· Do not use charcoal grills indoors or gas stoves as a source of heat. Either one can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

· Fireplaces may be used as long as they are properly vented

· Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed. When anticipating a power failure, set refrigerator and freezer temperatures to a colder setting to build up a cooling reserve. With the door closed, fully stacked freezers will keep for two days, while half full freezers will keep food for one day. Dry ice can be used safely in freezers; however, gloves must be worn in handling and proceed as recommended.

· All thawed food may be cooked if maintained below 45o otherwise it should be discarded. It is not recommended to refreeze any food once it has thawed.

· Refrigerated food, especially perishable items such as eggs, milk, fish, meat and poultry, should be maintained at 45o, or below. Foods should be cooked or discarded after three hours of not being maintained at proper temperatures. All stuffed meats and poultry should be discarded. If you have any doubt concerning food items, discard them or contact the Division of Environmental Services at 622-7838, for guidance.


During a storm, flood waters may enter your home or flood your property.

  • If your home or workplace is flooding, turn off the furnace and the gas valve at the appliance. Do not handle energized electrical equipment in wet areas. If the gas meter goes under water, shut off the gas valves and all appliances. Be sure to have the electrical system thoroughly checked and repaired before use. Additional information can be obtained by calling Connecticut Natural Gas at 869‑6900.
  • Never try to cross a flooded area on foot. The water may be unsanitary and any fast running water could sweep you away.
  • If you are in a car, avoid driving through floodwaters. Fast water could sweep your car away. However, if you are caught in fast rising waters and your vehicle stalls, leave the car.
  • Private wells that have been flooded must be disinfected before use. It is important to wait until flood waters have receded to the point where waste disposal and septic systems can operate normally. A well drilling company can arrange this service – drink bottled water in the meantime.
  • Wait until flood waters are below basement level before trying to drain or pump the basement.
  • Never allow children to play in flood waters. Clean all toys and equipment with a disinfectant or discard them after contamination with flood waters.
  • All clothing, curtains, bedding, etc. should be washed with hot, soapy water, than bleached if possible. Furniture and floors may be rinsed with clean water after washing with soap and water; disinfect if possible.

· Do not handle electrical equipment in wet areas

· Wear protective clothing while cleaning up debris

· All food items exposed to flood waters should be discarded. Cans and conventional jars free of rust or dents must be washed and sanitized before they are opened. If you are in doubt, throw it out rather than risk disease.

  • Cooperate with local officials.

Important Phone Numbers:

When rains become heavier and storm conditions occur, Greenwich residents are advised to keep the phone numbers listed below handy, listen to local news radio (WGCH 1490AM) and utilize information from the Town’s website ( for additional information.

  • TO REPORT AN EMERGENCY, dial 911 – For all Police, Fire and EMS emergencies.
  • THE REVERSE 911 SYSTEM – The Town may opt to notify residents via mass phone communication of pending conditions through this system, whereby a recorded message is sent.

(Develop an All Hazards Plan for you, your family and business by visiting and following the three easy steps, 1-Get A Kit, 2-Make a Plan, 3-Stay Informed.)

Local Non-Emergency Phone Numbers:

Greenwich Department of Health, Division of Environmental Health 622-7838/622-7842

Greenwich Fire Department non-emergency 622-8087

Greenwich Police Department non-emergency 622-8000

Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Service

– American Medical Response (AMR) 1-800-379-7700

Department of Public Works Highway Division 622-0942

Department of Parks and Recreation Tree Division 622-1429

Greenwich Chapter, American Red Cross 869-8444

For more information about Emergency Preparedness contact Mike Vincelli, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator at 203-622-3783. Also, visit the Greenwich Department of Health website at and the FEMA website at