Emergency Preparedness for Storms


June kicks off the hurricane season which runs from June 1 through the end of November.  Many people do not realize the hurricane season lasts until the end of November.  While Massachusetts is not a highly vulnerable region, history has proven we are far from immune and residents are cautioned to be prepared. For hurricanes 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.”

Winter Storms

Winter storms are a common New England occurrence, yet not everyone prepares in advance.  How you manage through a winter storm with possible utility issues and property damage can be highly dependent on what you do in advance. Winter Storm Safety Tips | Mass.gov  is a great source of information on how to prepare.   

Know Our Weather

Keep an eye on The Weather Channel or search the National Weather Service at  National Weather Service .  On either site enter "Pepperell" or our zip code and get the most up to date weather forecast.  

Here are some recommended key 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
    • Kep all furnace vents free of debris and snow
    • 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 and cats only) bring their food, collar, leash and a crate, along with pet waste bags for clean-up.

NOTE:  All pets will be kept in crates (provided) in a secluded area.  Service animals are allowed in the shelter, however the American Disabilities Act only recognizes dogs as service animals under titles II and III of the ADA and they must be individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.  You may be asked what the animal is trained to do.    

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!