Emergency Preparedness

“June kicks off the hurricane season which runs from June 1 through the end of November.  This year the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a 60% chance of higher than normal named weather events with 6-10 hurricanes affecting the U.S.  While Massachusetts is not a highly vulnerable region, history has proven we are far from immune and residents are cautioned to be prepared.  There are two links for you to consider:  https://pepperell.vod.castus.tv/vod/?video=0a867eb8-65ca-4376-8b0b-64f81d4f0f06  is a direct link to a presentation given locally at the Lawrence Library in 2019 on Preparing for Major Weather Events whose content is very much relevant today.  This is also available on local cable access channel 194.  In addition, a good information resource is sponsored by the state at www.mass.gov/info-details/hurricane-safety-tips .   The best way to be safe in a hurricane is to be prepared well in advance.”

Many people do not realize the hurricane season lasts until the end of November.  This year has seen a very active hurricane season with several more weeks to go.  From there we move right into the potential for severe winter weather that will carry us through March.

With that in Mind, September is National Preparedness Month.  Here are some recommended steps you can take to help you prepare for a significant weather event:

  • Do’s
    • Make sure your vehicles are filled with gas and furnaces have sufficient fuel
    • Prep needed devices in advance such as generators, snow blowers, chain saws
    • Charge mobile phones and leave them plugged in when possible – If they go dead, charge them in your automobile
    • Secure anything loose outside the home that could become a projectile (furniture, bird feeders, etc.) and keep all doorways clear if snow
    • Shut down / unplug all sensitive electronic equipment
    • Stay away from windows & glass doors during high winds
    • Fill your bathtub with water and/or stock up on fresh water if you have a well
    • Stock up on a few day’s supply of non-perishable foods
    • Have firewood ready if a fireplace or wood stove is your alternative heat source
    • Check on neighbors who might be elderly or infirm
  • Don’t
    • Assume everything will be fine
    • Use portable propane or other gas devices indoors
    • Use generators in garages or near windows / doorways
    • Go outside in severe weather
    • Go near downed trees or utility poles
    • Go into a flooded basement if the power panel is not shut off
    • Touch downed wires regardless if you think you know what they are
    • Delay evacuation when your life is at risk – material goods can be replaced

If you should have to go to an emergency shelter you need to bring your own clothing, hygiene supplies, all medications, pillows, cell phones AND chargers.   For families, a child’s favorite small toy or stuffed animal, reading material or games can help pass the time.   And for pets (dogs, cats) bring their food, collar, leash and a crate, along with pet waste bags for clean-up.

Don’t be caught at the last moment trying to decide how you will manage during a severe weather event.  The time to plan for a storm and your comfort/safety is BEFORE it happens and not when.  Be prepared!