Every town official was busy today as the various departments prepared for the oncoming Hurricane, forecast for Sunday.
Mayor Adam Salina signed an Emergency Declaration at noon on Friday, which will allow the town the freedom to be able to be more effective in its response.
The town also announced it is opening a shelter at Catherine M. McGee Middle School at noon on Saturday.
The Emergency Operations Center, which will be at the Berlin Fire Department, will also be opening at noon on Saturday.
"We have had meetings all day Thursday and Friday and we are as prepared as we can be," Manager of Emergency Operations Matt Odishoo said. "The shelter will be at McGee and we have already had between six and eight people call and ask to come to the shelter. The cafeteria will be open for three meals with town employees who work in the kitchen at McGee cooking there. One other time we used food from the town food pantry but this will work better as they know the kitchen and are familiar with the food they have on hand."
The preparation was non-stop Friday afternoon.
"We started with filling sand bags," Odishoo said. "We have between 350 and 400 sandbags if needed. We will have a meeting on Saturday morning at the EOC (Berlin Fire Dept.) and the EOC will be open from noon on Saturday until it is needed."
Residents are asked to check their sump pumps. But, those sump pumps are only as good as the electricity that powers them.
"If there is an emergency, people should call us," Odishoo said. "But there comes a certain point where we won't put trucks on the road. As soon as the wind gets to a certain level (he thought it was about 50 miles per hour but had to check for sure) we won't be going out for anything but an emergency. Don't call us in the brunt of the storm if your basement is flooded for a pump-out because we won't come out. That will have to wait for the storm to pass. If your house is on fire, or there is a medical emergency, by all means, call."
Odishoo said he will be using Patch to get out any vital information.
"Because you can get information up right away we'll be sending any important information to Patch," Odishoo said. "I think people who are wondering about downed wires or trees over the road or flooding should check with Patch."