At 3 p.m. Monday afternoon, the town's emergency shelter, located at the Rocky Hill Community Center, opened its doors to those seeking to escape the wrath of Hurricane Sandy.
As of 6:30 p.m., two individuals had taken up temporary residence within, with four more soon expected to arrive.
Shelter coordinator Mary Hogan, who is better known as the town's public librarian, anticipates additional visitors as conditions worsen and more homes lose electricity. However, she recommends that individuals exhaust other alternatives first, due to the shelter's limited capacity and provisions.
"Try and relocate to a family member or friend's home," first, she urges. And as a second resort, she encourages "the use of a local hotel" because "they will have both shelter and food available."
For those with no other recourse but the shelter, "light meals will be provided." However, if individuals want anything specific to eat, they must bring it themselves.
Hogan also emphasizes that shelter residents "need to bring their own supplies such as pillows and blankets, towels, medications, etc."
The shelter can accommodate pets, but Hogan again appeals to guests to "make alternate arrangements, such as leaving a pet at another location with a family member or friend." Any animals that are taken to the shelter are required to be contained within pet-carriers, and all pet food and medication must be supplied by owners. Any dog brought on the premises must be licensed.
Persons coming to the shelter are reminded to use extreme caution on the roads. Transportation will be available to those who do not have access until police declare the streets unsafe for travel.
Shelter visitors should enter via the doors at the back of the Town Hall, adjacent to the Community Center. All persons must check in when they arrive and provide any relevant medical information.
But, since the extent of medical treatment available on-site is essentially limited to first-aid, Hogan stresses that "if people are in need of medical attention, they are urged to immediately call 911 for an ambulance."
The shelter will remain open for the duration of any residential power outages.
The town shelter is located at 761 Old Main St. For more information, please call 860-258-2786.