Open Community Forum on Connecticut Power Disaster Planned for Thursday in West Hartford

Contact: Ben Smilowitz

cell: 314-761-7631

For Immediate Release:

Open Community Forum on Connecticut Power Disaster Planned for Thursday in West Hartford

Solutions! How can we strengthen our communities, towns and state to prevent the power disaster from reoccurring?

Sponsored by: Disaster Accountability Project (

Facilitated by: Mark Davis, Chief Capitol & Political Correspondent, News 8/

Join in a solutions-focused community forum on what can be done to prevent another power disaster in Connecticut.

Date: Thursday, November 10, 2011

Time: 7-9PM

Location: Auditorium in the Library Building of the Greater Hartford Uconn Campus, 1800 Asylum Avenue, West Hartford, CT (

Parking: Participants will need to park in the UConn Visitor lot located on Trout Brook Drive. The auditorium is located in the library building on Asylum Avenue.

This community forum will generate ideas from the public to build consensus around “lessons learned,” that will be shared with state and local government leaders, emergency responders, and public utilities. A report with public comments will be presented to the Governor’s S.T.O.R.M. Commission.

Members of the Governor’s “S.T.O.R.M. Commission,” CL&P, the Governor’s Office, local government and legislative leaders have been invited.

The public is encouraged to focus on RECOMMENDATIONS on the following topics:

• Addressing and strengthening infrastructure in Connecticut

• Rules and regulation related to power utilities

• Tree trimming and other pre-emptive efforts to avoid extended power outages

• Communications: first responders, utilities, government leaders, customers and community members

• Emergency preparedness training

• Social services and vulnerable populations in disasters

• Sheltering and mass care

• Mutual assistance agreements

Started in Connecticut in 2007, Disaster Accountability Project saves lives and reduces suffering after disasters by improving preparedness, response and relief through citizen oversight and engagement, policy research and advocacy, and public education.

More on the event:

We hope you will join us for this Community Forum on Thursday, November 10th. We expect that the comments and recommendations drawn from this evening will be useful to the Governor’s S.T.O.R.M. Commission and Legislature in their deliberations. The format is not adversarial and our facilitator will monitor discussion to maintain a productive dialogue. Officials that attend the event will sit in the audience and listen to comments as members of the audience, not from the front of the room.

This is an opportunity for legislators, Governor’s office representatives, CL&P, and local leaders who attend, to receive valuable insight from constituents and customers that can be used to prepare for future disasters.

Disaster Accountability Project is organizing this event because there are MANY lessons that must learned from this power disaster. Our experience indicates that the implementation of lessons learned can significantly reduce the likelihood that a disaster of this magnitude will happen again. CT is fortunate to have the Governor’s S.T.O.R.M. Commission and we hope that this Community Forum will provide Commission members with valuable public feedback that will compliment expert testimony at Commission hearings. Further, the Governor’s S.T.O.R.M. Commission is aiming to submit its report in early December and the Legislature may have a special session. Because so many were impacted, it is important to engage the public in a community forum focused on solutions and make sure ideas generated are considered in the Commission’s report and any other policy proposals that surface in the coming months.