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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Emergency Management?

Emergency management involves the planning, assignment and coordination of the resources available in an integrated program of mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery for natural or man-made emergencies. It provides for the safety of our citizens in New Fairfield. Since all known possible hazards have been identified and plans made which address the needs before, during and after an emergency or disaster. We continually review the plans to identify and correct problems and work together with neighboring towns and the State Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security to insure a correct and adequate response will be made in the event of an emergency or disaster.

What actions should I take if told to evacuate my home?

In some situations evacuation is the only protective action available to protect the public, if time permits. If you are advised to evacuate, first consider going to the homes of relatives or friends, or checking into a hotel or motel outside the danger area. If these locations are not feasible then you will need to go to a shelter site.

If instructed to evacuate:
  • Stay calm - don't panic.
  • Take only essential emergency supplies with you.
  • Do not go to pick up children at school. They will be taken care of at school or taken to a shelter outside the affected area. Listen to local radio or TV stations, they will have information on where to pick up your children and shelter locations.
  • Turn off all lights and appliances (including the hot water heater) with the exception of the refrigerator and freezer.
  • Secure windows and doors and tie a white cloth or white towel to your front door as an indicator that you have evacuated (this will save emergency responders time when searching for victims or fatalities).
  • Follow the recommended routes, do not take shortcuts.
  • Notify a family contact person of your location.
  • Stay tuned to your local radio stations for updates.
  • Do not return home until advised to do so.

What if someone needs special assistance to evacuate their home due to medical problems or physical disabilities, and where would they go?

The New Fairfield Office of Emergency Management and New Fairfield Social Services have developed a computerized registry of people with special needs who may require special assistance in the event of a disaster, such as a tornado, severe storm, or chemical spill. This is a voluntary registration and the information submitted will be used by emergency personnel to assure the safety of those with special needs in the event of an emergency or disaster. If you, a member of your family or a neighbor may require special assistance in an evacuation, you should contact the New Fairfield Office of Emergency Management (203) 312-5723 and request a "Special Assistance Voluntary Registration Form" or you can get one from this site (see forms tab under Office of Emergency Management).

What should I do if told to "Shelter in Place"?

In certain situations when an emergency occurs so quickly that there is insufficient time to evacuate, or an evacuation would actually place more people in danger, it is necessary to "Shelter in Place". If this should occur, immediately go inside your home or the nearest structure (if you are at work or away from you home), if you have a pet get it inside too, and do the following:

  • Secure all doors and windows (if tape is available, tape cracks for extra protection).
  • Shut off all air conditioners, window fans or other equipment with air intakes.
  • Cover food and put uncovered food in the refrigerator.
  • Move to a center room or central area of the structure (keep water and emergency supplies with you).
  • Keep your TV or radio on and turned onto the Emergency Broadcasting Station (or local stations).
  • Do not use the telephone except for an extreme emergency.
  • Do not leave your home (or the structure) until you are told it is safe to do so.
  • If you're in a automobile, roll the windows up, close all vents, turn off the fan and leave the area immediately.

How will I be notified of an emergency situation other than by firefighters and police personnel?

New Fairfield uses the AlertNow system which will broadcast emergency information via the telephone. They will tell you, where shelters are being opened, where you need to go, what roads you should use and other safety measures you can take. It’s important to make sure that you are registered with this service. Please see the Alertnow tab under Emergency Services..

What type supplies should I keep on hand for emergency situations?
The Office of Emergency Management recommends that citizens keep enough supplies at home to meet family needs for at least 72 hours, since it may take that long before outside assistance is available from the state or federal government. Home disaster supply kits should be made up from sturdy and easy to carry containers such as backpacks, duffel bags or large trash containers in the event that you may have to evacuate and take your emergency supplies with you. For complete checklists of items you should have on hand, please see the forms tab under Emergency Management.

The following list offers preparedness tips for residents:


Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit


  • One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • A whistle to signal for help
  • Garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • A manual can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
  • Food and litter requirements for any pets
  • Medicine or any special need items, including diapers for infants


Family Emergency Plan


  • Identify an out-of- town contact. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
  • Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has a cell phone, coins, or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact. If you have a cell phone, program that person(s) as "ICE" (In Case of Emergency) in your phone. If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE listings in order to get a hold of someone you know. Make sure to tell your family and friends that you’ve listed them as emergency contacts.
  • Teach family members how to use text messaging. Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through, and it uses less battery life. Plan ahead and pre-set a family group text conversation in your phones.
  • Subscribe to alert services. Go to www.ct.gov/ctalert to register for emergency alerts.


Protecting Your Possessions


  • It is important to review your insurance policies yearly and especially prior to the start of hurricane season.
  • Review your policy with an agent, or contact the Connecticut Insurance Department to understand what is covered and what your coverage limits are to ensure you are receiving adequate protection.
  • Keep your policies and insurance contact information in a safe place.
  • Make an inventory of your possessions should your property be damaged and you have to make a claim.


Protecting Your Business


  • Develop a preparedness plan – including resource management, emergency response, crisis communications, business continuity, information technology, employee assistance and incident management.
  • Identify regulations that establish minimum requirements for your emergency program.
  • Gather information about hazards and assess risks.
  • Examine ways to prevent hazards and reduce risks