Chief Timothy Clancy and the Whitman Fire Department wish to share awareness and preparedness information during hurricane season.
June 1 marked the official start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which runs through Nov. 30. Most hurricanes and tropical storms that hit New England occur during late August and September, and residents are encouraged to take time now to begin preparing.
Hurricanes can bring many different types of wind and water hazards, including storm surges, strong wind and flooding. The Department of Homeland Security and the
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offer several tips to help residents better prepare for extreme weather should it occur. Tips for how residents can better prepare for hurricanes include:
Know Your Evacuation Zone: Learn if you live or work in a hurricane evacuation zone. If you live in an area that may flood and you may need assistance evacuating, plan with family, neighbors and friends to determine who may be able to assist. Also contact your local public safety officials to make them aware of your needs.
Make an Emergency Plan: Have an emergency plan for how your family would communicate, evacuate and shelter in place that addresses the needs of all of your family members, including seniors, children, individuals with access and functional needs, and pets. If you receive medical treatment or home health care services, work with your medical provider to determine how to maintain care and service if you are unable to leave your home or have to evacuate.
Steps to making an emergency plan include:
- Put a plan together by discussing the questions below with your family, friends or household to start your emergency plan.
- How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
- What is my shelter plan?
- What is my evacuation route?
- What is my family/household communication plan?
- Consider specific needs in your household.
- Fill out a Family Emergency Plan. A sample plan can be found here.
- Practice your plan with your family/household.
Build an Emergency Kit: Build an emergency kit that will sustain your household for three to five days without power.
A basic emergency supply kit may include the following recommended items:
- Food and water
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle (to signal for help)
- Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
- Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
- Manual can opener (for food)
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
Stay Informed: Every family should have multiple methods for receiving emergency alerts. Learn more about different types of alerting and information tools including the Emergency Alert System, Wireless Emergency Alerts, NOAA Weather Radio, social and traditional news media, and your local notification systems.
For more information on hurricane planning, click here.