SHREWSBURY — Chief James Vuona and Emergency Management Director Steve Rocco are recommending a series of precautions this Atlantic Hurricane Season in the event of a tropical storm or hurricane.
The Atlantic Hurricane Season began on Saturday, June 1 and will end on November 30. Historically, hurricanes and tropical storms in August and September have had the greatest impact on New England communities.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting a near normal hurricane season this year, which would produce between nine and 15 storms. Between two and four of those storms are predicted to be major hurricanes.
“Creating an emergency plan, assembling an emergency kit and signing up for emergency alerts doesn’t take a lot of time, but it does make a huge difference in the event of a major storm,” Chief Vuona said. “There is a lot to account for in a hurricane, from severe wind to flooding, and having a plan is important.”
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has several safety tips for residents in the event of a hurricane or tropical storm in our area:
- Stay informed by signing up for emergency alerts.
- Develop a family emergency plan by establishing meeting locations, creating an emergency contact plan, planning how to evacuate and learning how to shelter in place. Practice your plan with your entire family, and make sure the plan accounts for individuals who have access needs, seniors, children and pets.
- Acquaint yourself with the emergency plans at places where your family spends considerable time, such as your workplace or your children’s school.
- Those receiving medical treatment or home health services can work with a medical provider to learn how to maintain care in the event of a hurricane that requires evacuation.
- Create an emergency kit. Individuals with young children should pack necessities such as diapers, wipes, formula and baby food. Those with pets should pack a collar, leash, harness, crate, food, bowls, current photo, license and medical information.
- Maintain smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and check their batteries.
- Contemplate purchasing a generator. If you do, be sure to familiarize yourself with the manufacturer’s instructions to use it safely. NEVER run a generator indoors, in a garage or with the exhaust facing the home or home air intakes.
- Take photos or videos of your possessions to create a record for insurance purposes.
- Prepare your home if a storm is coming by securing outdoor objects, clearing rain gutters, covering windows with shutters or plywood (do not use tape), turn off propane tanks that aren’t being used, elevate items in your basement in case of flooding, check your sump pump, unplug sensitive electronic equipment, clear nearby catch basins, park vehicles in areas that are unlikely to flood, and remove any boats from the water.
- Do not go out during a hurricane or tropical storm, if possible.