MEMA Safety Tips, Storm Preparation Advice - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

MEMA Safety Tips, Storm Preparation Advice

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The following were provided by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency

 

  • Check flashlights and portable radios to ensure that they are working, and you have extra batteries. A radio is an important source of critical weather and emergency information during a storm.

 

  • If your water supply could be affected by a power outage (a well-water pump system), fill your bathtub and spare containers with water. Water in the bathtub should be used for sanitation purposes only, not as drinking water. Pouring a pail of water from the tub directly into the bowl can flush a toilet.

 

  • Set your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings (remember to reset them back to normal once power is restored). During an outage, do not open the refrigerator or freezer door unnecessarily. Food can stay cold in a full refrigerator for up to 24 hours, and in a well-packed freezer for 48 hours (24 hours if it is half-packed).

 

  • If you have medication that requires refrigeration, check with your pharmacist for guidance on proper storage during an extended outage.

 

  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions and guidelines when using a generator. Always use outdoors, away from windows and doors. Carbon Monoxide (CO) fumes are odorless and can quickly accumulate indoors. Never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator directly into household wiring, a practice known as "backfeeding." This is extremely dangerous and presents an electrocution risk to utility workers and neighbors served by the same utility transformer. It also bypasses some of the built-in household circuit protection devices.

 

  • Make sure your Smoke and Carbon Dioxide detectors have fresh batteries and are in working order.

 

  •  In order to protect against possible voltage irregularities that can occur when power is restored, you should unplug all sensitive electronic equipment, including TVs, computers, stereo, DVR, VCR, microwave oven, cordless telephone, answering machine and garage door opener. (Review the process for manually operating an electric garage door.)

 

  •  Be extra cautious when you go outside to inspect for damage after a storm. Downed or hanging electrical wires can be hidden by trees or debris, and could be live. Never attempt to touch or move downed lines, and keep children and pets away from them. Do not touch anything power lines are touching, such as tree branches or fences. Always assume a downed line is a live line. Call your utility company to report any outage-related problem.

 

  • Make sure you have a well-stocked Family Disaster Kit in the event you lose power or are isolated for a number of days.

 

  • Trim back trees and shrubbery around your home. Remove diseased or damaged tree limbs that could be blown down, causing damage, during a storm.

 

  • Clear clogged rain gutters. This storm brings the potential for torrential rain. Providing clear drainage will help prevent misdirected flooding.

 

  • Bring in outdoor items 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.

 

  • Make sure storage sheds, children's playhouses or other outbuildings are securely anchored, either to a permanent foundation or with straps and ground anchors.

 

  • Elevate articles in your basement that could be damaged from even minor flooding.

 

  • Make temporary plywood covers to protect windows and sliding doors. Drill holes for screws or lag bolts in each cover and around each window. Note: Taping of windows does not prevent them from breaking.

 

  • Keep you vehicles fully fueled.

 

  • Have a certain amount of cash available.  If power is lost, ATMs may not be working.
  • Document valuables to assist adjusters in case of a claim. Back it up with photographs or video.

 

  • Protect your insurance policies and other important documents in a secure place like a safe deposit box or a watertight box. Many people back up important documents online.

 

  • Learn where gas pilots and water mains are located and how to safely shut off all utilities.

 

  • Lock doors and windows to ensure that they are closed tight to help protect against strong winds and rain.

 

  • Boat owners, who plan on taking their vessel out of the water soon, should consider doing so this weekend.
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