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Weston Hunts for Neighborhood Block Captains

WESTON, Conn. – A Weston volunteer organization is looking for a few good men and women to work as liaisons between neighbors and town officials during emergencies.

Ken Edgar, head of the Weston Community Service Coalition , met with First Selectman Gayle Weinstein and Police and Social Services officials last week to discuss appointing block captains to communicate the needs of neighbors during serious storms.

The block captains would be the go-to people in each neighborhood. The hope is that they would not only improve communications between neighbors and town officials, but also inform officials about the specific needs of neighborhoods. The captains could also help organize transportation for neighbors who needed to be moved elsewhere.

Several other community organizations have signed on with the Weston Community Service Coalition to help reach out to prospective block captains. Representatives of Weston’s Kiwanis Club, the Westport Weston Family Y, Weston’s Social Services and Circle of Friends met at Edgar’s home recently to discuss a plan of action.

Edgar said the town also needs volunteers to help out at Weston’s comfort stations. During both Hurricane Irene and the October snowstorm the comfort station offered residents a warm place to shower and grab water and food and to charge up laptops and cell phones.

The town also needs volunteers to man the storm phone line at Town Hall. Edgar said this would free up town officials to concentrate on emergency services. Phone line volunteers would answer residents' questions, provide information and alert town officials to conditions reported by residents.

In a document handed out during the meeting at his home, Edgar said, “As we sit here today we cannot imagine what the nature and timing of the next town emergency might be. But this is the time to begin to organize our response, otherwise we certainly will not be ready, and we could face situations far more severe than our last two events.”

Although no date has been set for finding block captains, Edgar told the groups they need to act fast since winter is right around the corner. “We need to start [looking] soon because we can’t predict when the next big storm will happen.” he said.

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