With Hurricane Irene barreling up the Eastern seaboard, we here at the Capitol View Live wanted to take a moment to share with you some hurricane related information and resources that we have compiled. Below are some common sense tips compiled from various organizations including the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, and the State of Massachusetts Animal Response Team.
Before the Storm
Preparation is key when it comes to any sort of inclement weather. However, when dealing with hurricanes or tropical storms there are a few basic ideas that will not only help protect you and your family, but will also protect your home.
1. Trim back trees and shrubbery around your home. Remove diseased or damaged tree limbs that could be blown down, causing damage, during a storm.
2. Clear clogged rain gutters. Hurricanes/tropical storms often bring torrential rain. Providing clear drainage will help prevent misdirected flooding..
3. Bring in outdoor items to bring inside such as lawn furniture, trash barrels, hanging plants, toys and awnings that can be broken or picked up by strong winds and used as a missile.
4. Have a certain amount of cash available. If power is lost, ATMs may not be working.
5. Make a record of your personal property. Keep an itemized list of your furniture, clothing and valuables to assist adjusters in case of a claim. Back it up with photographs or video.
These are just a half dozen ideas that will help you keep your family and home safe during a hurricane or tropical storm. For more ideas, you can check out MEMA’s web page by visiting www.mass.gov.
Keeping your Pets Safe
Just as we prepare our family and home for a hurricane/tropical storm, we must also prepare our pets. Below are some simple steps to make sure that Fido can ride out the storm safely and comfortably.
1. Make plans ahead of time to take your pet to stay at relatives, friends or a kennel outside the affected area.
2. Prepare an emergency kit for your pets; include collars & leashes, a 3-5 day supply of food and water, a manual can opener, bowls, litter boxes, photographs of you with your pet, and a week’s supply of medications that your pet may be taking, including instructions (in case you and your pet are separated).
3. Have copies of your pets’ vaccinations, medical records and prescriptions in a clean plastic bag or waterproof container.
4. Make sure your pets wear collars with current license and rabies tags, and identification tags that include information on where you will be staying during the emergency.
For additional information about keeping your pets safe, go to the State of Massachusetts Animal Response Team (SMART) website at www.smart-mass.org.
Useful Contact Information
The numbers listed below should be consulted when any questions you may have regarding hurricane/tropical storms may arise.
1. For all emergency’s – 911.
2. For non-life threatening emergencies - 211.
3. National Grid Gas Emergency Line – (800) 233-5325.
4. National Grid Electric Emergency Line – (800) 465-1212.
Post Hurricane/Tropical Storm
Even though the storm may be over, this is often when most dangers are present.
1. If you have been evacuated, do not return to your home until you have been directed to do so by state or local officials.
2. Drive only when and where necessary. Streets may be filled with debris or flooded. Closed roads are for your protection, in that they may be flooded, weakened and could collapse.
3. Upon returning, do not turn on any electronic equipment until the electricity has been safely restored.
4. Take photographs or video of damage. Keep a detailed record of all cleanup costs.
5. If your home, apartment or business has suffered damage, call your insurance company or agent who handles your flood insurance right away to file a claim. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administers the National Flood Insurance Plan (NFIP) through the Federal Insurance Administration (FIA). The NFIP makes flood insurance available in communities that adopt and enforce ordinances to reduce flood damage.
6. Be a good neighbor. Make sure those around you are safe and have the help that they need.
It is the hope of the Capitol View Live that the information and phone numbers provided above are of value and assistance to you. We hope you all have a safe weekend and we look forward to seeing you back here next week.