Texas and Florida are experienced with getting walloped by storms of every caliber. Each state has its own issues – near-surface water tables impacting underground power choices; municipal power restoration, and annual emergency response drills. Now Connecticut’s Two Storm Panel task force, formerly known as the S.T.O.R.M. Irene Panel, is powering up to find solutions for a state with diverse regions within its borders – while residents of this populated state look square in the face of an approaching winter.

The eight-member task force is co-chaired by Joseph McGee, vice president of the Business Council of Fairfield County and Major General James Skiff, U.S. Air Force, retired. Members are Peter Carozza, president, Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters; Terry Edelstein, president, Connecticut Community Providers Association; Lee Hoffman, attorney, Pullman & Comley; Scott Jackson, Mayor of Hamden; Robert McGrath, former fire chief, Stamford; Cathy Osten, First Selectman, Sprague. Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has charge the members with reviewing the preparedness, response and recovery efforts of the state and its partners – including the utilities and municipalities. Their goal is to present to the Governor a set of recommendations on how to improve response to future storms and other natural disasters. 

“You are either part of the solution or part of the problem.” – Eldridge Cleaver, American author

While some point fingers and others sound like an angry mob looking to pin the blame on one person, the two-storm panel is calmly gathering real-life solutions from leaders in other states that have dealt with 12 hurricanes in one season. Connecticut’s population faces an impending winter season with ice, snow and sub-zero temperatures – or all three – to contend with.
“Our state was hit twice in a short period of time by devastating weather events that created a lot of havoc and revealed vulnerabilities that should have been addressed years, if not decades ago,” Governor Malloy said. “With that in mind, I also want to ensure that whatever changes we make as a state – whether it’s through legislation, changes in best practices, or anything else – are adjustments that will actually work when put into practice and are not quick fixes that might look good on paper but won’t result in actual improvements in future emergency events.”
Governor Malloy addressed the panel which met in the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. Presentations then followed by the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority on regulatory requirements and budgets for utility company tree trimming; several municipal and utility officials on tree management, a video conference with utility experts from Florida, and other related topics. 

To watch the session, visit CTN, linked here.

For more information on Governor Malloy’s Two Storm Panel, including previous announcements, meeting agendas and minutes, visit www.governor.ct.gov/workinggroups – or follow the Governor on Facebook or Twitter.