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Preparation and Safety Tips For Hurricane Irene

A press release from MEMA about what families need to do to prepare for the Hurricane Season. Hurricane Irene is expected to hit the Massachusetts area on Sunday.

Hurricane Irene is expected to make its way up to the New England area this weekend, bringing high winds and heavy rain. Tropical storm-like conditions are expected on Sunday.

The issued this press release from MEMA, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, giving residents some tips on how to deal with the potential storm:

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As we enter the 2011 Hurricane Season, which experts are predicting to be very active, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is offering personal preparedness tips for the all of the citizens of the Commonwealth. 

 “Every home and should have a stocked basic emergency supply kit that could be used for any emergency, regardless of the time of year,” states MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz. “Everyone should keep certain items around the house and workplace in the event you are isolated for three to five days without power”

Each kit will be unique to each family, but should include the essentials: a portable radio, flashlight, and extra batteries, a supply of non-perishable foods, along with bottled water, a first aid kit, and extra prescription medication, if necessary.

 “All families should develop a ‘Family Emergency Communication Plan’ to help ensure everyone is safe. You should contact your local authorities to learn about your community’s potential evacuation routes and the location of emergency shelters,” said Schwartz. “It is important to familiarize yourself with your Community’s Emergency Plans before an emergency situation occurs.”

Develop a Disaster Supply Kit ‘Go Bag’, with essentials in case you must evacuate quickly.

SUGGESTED HURRICANE SUPPLIES:

* Canned goods and nonperishable foods, particularly those that do not need cooking:

  • Canned meats and fish                        
  • Dried fruit and nuts
  • Bread, cookies and crackers                
  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Peanut butter and jelly                     
  • Canned soups and puddings
  • Coffee and tea                       
  • Canned fruit juices

* Manual can opener

* Bottled water (1 gallon per person/per day)

* Prescription medication (2-week supply)

* Extra eyeglasses

* Pet food/supplies

* Water purification tablets (halazone)

* Disposable plates, cups, and utensils

* Infant care items:

  • Disposable diapers           
  • Baby food
  • Baby wipes                   
  • Formula

* First aid supplies

* Masking and duct tape

* Flashlight or lantern, with extra batteries

* Battery operated radio, with extra batteries

* Cell phone with charger

* Watch or battery operated clock

* Ice chest

* Matches

* Canned heat (sterno)

* Portable outdoor camping stove or grill with fuel supply

* A certain amount of cash

* Important documents (Such as wills, deeds, prescriptions, passports, birth certificates, health record, proof of address, Social Security number)

* Emergency generator

* Plastic trash bags

* Plastic sheeting or tarp

* Chlorinated bleach

* Personal hygiene items

* Other useful items:

  • Work gloves             
  • Screwdriver
  • Sun lotion                  
  • Hammer
  • Insect repellent             
  • Handsaw
  • Pliers                   
  • Wrenches
  • Ax or chainsaw             
  • Razor knife
  • Rope caulking            
  • Rope and wire
  • Nails and screws             
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Broom, mop and bucket             
  • Sandbags
  • Ladder                
  • Shovel, rake and wheelbarrow
  • Tree pruner     
  • Sheets of plywood

FAMILY EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS PLAN

Develop a Family Emergency Communications Plan in case family members are separated from one another during an emergency (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school, camp or at a friend’s house). This plan should also address reunification after the immediate crisis passes.

Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the Family Emergency Communications Plan contact person.  During and immediately after a disaster occurs, it is often easier to access a long distance telephone number than a local one. Also, calling outside a disaster area is usually easier than calling into the same area.

Make sure everyone knows the name, address and telephone number of the Family Emergency Communications Plan contact person.

Designate two meeting areas for family members – one within your community (your primary location), and one outside of your community (your alternate location). Sometimes an emergency could impact your neighborhood or small section of the community, so a second location outside of your community would be more accessible to all family members.

A Family Emergency Communications Plan can help reassure everyone’s safety and minimize the stress associated with emergencies.

STAY INFORMED

Educate yourself and family about emergency plans for your community, place of business, your child’s school and camp. 

Know what potential risks your community and neighborhood are susceptible to in a hurricane, such as storm surge, flooding, road or bridge closures, etc. Carefully monitor the Media and promptly follow instructions from Public Safety officials as a storm approaches.

***

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is the state agency responsible for coordinating federal, state, local, voluntary and private resources during emergencies and disasters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

MEMA provides leadership to: develop plans for effective response to all hazards, disasters or threats; train emergency personnel to protect the public; provide information to the citizenry; and assist individuals, families, businesses and communities to mitigate against, prepare for, and respond to and recover from emergencies, both natural and manmade.

For additional information about MEMA and Hurricane Preparedness, go to www.mass.gov/mema. Follow MEMA updates on Facebook and Twitter.

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