Groveland Emergency Management
The Town of Groveland’s Emergency Management Department is headed by the Emergency Management Director, Deputy Police Chief Jeffrey Gillen
All inquiries about emergency management should be directed to 978-521-1212
WINTER SAFETY INFORMATION
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PREPARING FOR WINTER WEATHER
MEMA Offers Tips to Help Keep Massachusetts Families Safe
FRAMINGHAM, MA – A winter storm in New England can range from a moderate snowfall over a few hours to a chilling Nor’easter, bringing blizzard conditions with blinding wind-driven snow that lasts several days. People can become stranded in their automobiles or trapped at home, without utilities or other services. The aftermath of a winter storm can have an impact on a community or the entire region for days, weeks or even months. Storm effects, in New England, include large snow accumulation, extremely cold temperatures, heavy, wet snow or icing on trees and powerlines, roof collapses, coastal flooding and beach erosion.
Winter storms are also deceptive killers because most deaths are indirectly related to the actual storm. The major causes are automobile or other transportation accidents, exhaustion and heart attacks caused by overexertion, ‘freezing to death’ and asphyxiation from improper heating sources. House fires occur more frequently in the winter due to lack of proper safety precautions when using alternate heating sources, like unattended fires and space heaters.
“As with most potential disasters, preparedness, monitoring the Media and common sense can minimize the danger to you and your family,” states Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Director Kurt Schwartz. “That is why MEMA is sharing important winter safety information through the Media and the MEMA website over the next few weeks.”
Areas to be covered in this series will include the proper steps to take to prepare your family and home for the winter season, automobile and driving safety, ice safety, protecting your pets, responding to power outages, extreme temperatures, roof collapse and recovering from a winter storm.
Those who already have an All-Hazard Emergency Supply Kit, as MEMA continues to recommend, are ahead of the curve. However, it is important to check your kit, to ensure it is properly stocked with enough supplies to survive on your own for at least three to five days. Now is also the time to review for Family Communication Plan.
WINTER EMERGENCY SUPPLY KIT
· Flashlight and extra batteries
· Portable radio or NOAA Weather Radio with extra batteries
· Charged cell phone
· First-aid kit
· Essential prescription medicines
· Non-perishable Food
· Manual can opener
· Water (one gallon per person/per day)
· Baby items
· Extra blankets and sleeping bags
· Fire extinguisher
FAMILY EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS PLAN
Develop a ‘Family Emergency Communication Plan’ in case family members are separated from one another during a winter storm (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), and have a plan for getting back together.
· Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the ‘family contact’. After a disaster, it is often easier to call long distance than across town. Also, calling outside the area will probably be easier than calling into a disaster area.
· Make sure everyone knows the name, address and telephone number of the contact person.
· Sometimes an emergency could impact your neighborhood or small section of town. Decide on an alternate meeting area for family members.
Become aware of your community’s Emergency Plans, available through your local Emergency Management Director.
· Be familiar with the Emergency Plans at your children’s school and your workplace.
· Be aware of the location of your community’s emergency notification systems, potential emergency shelters and possible evacuation routes.
These steps can help reassure everyone’s safety and minimize the stress associated with emergencies.
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 man made. For additional information about MEMA and Winter Preparedness, go to the MEMA website at www.mass.gov/mema.
Follow MEMA updates on Facebook and Twitter.
MEMA’S WINTER PREPAREDNESS STEPS TO TAKE BEFORE THE STORM
Protecting Your Family and Home
FRAMINGHAM, MA – “Before snow, ice and severe winter weather hit the region, it is important that you take the proper steps to ensure the safety of your family and home,” states Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Director Kurt Schwartz.
· Understand the winter terminology used by weather forecasters:
1. Winter Storm Watch – Be alert, a storm is likely.
2. Winter Storm Warning – Take action, the storm is in or entering the area.
3. Blizzard Warning – Snow and strong winds combined will produce blinding snow, near zero visibility, deep drifts, and life-threatening wind chill. Seek refuge immediately.
4. Winter Weather Advisory – Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous, especially to motorists.
5. Frost/Freeze Warning – Below freezing temperatures are expected and may cause damage to plants, crops or fruit trees.
· Trim dead tree branches and limbs close to your home. Ice, snow and wind can combine to snap limbs that can take down power lines or damage your home.
· Clean gutters. Melting snow and ice can build up if gutters are clogged with debris. When thawing begins, the water can back up under your roof and eaves causing damage to walls and ceilings.
· Check your homeowner’s insurance policy to ensure adequate coverage.
· Have your chimney flue checked for any buildup of creosote and cleaned if necessary to lessen the risk of fire.
· Have sufficient heating fuel, as regular sources may be cut off. Have the option of emergency heating equipment and fuel (a gas fireplace, wood burning stove or fireplace) so you can safely keep at least one room livable. Be sure the room is well ventilated.
· Ensure that your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors are working correctly and have fresh batteries. Check your outside fuel exhaust vents, making sure that they are not obstructed by snow or ice. Never use cooking equipment intended for outside use indoors as a heat source or cooking device.
· Make sure your home is properly insulated. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows to keep cold air out.
· Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside to provide insulation.
· To keep pipes from freezing, wrap them in insulation or layers of newspapers, covering the newspapers with plastic to keep out moisture. Let faucets drip a little to avoid freezing.
· Know how to safely shut off gas, electric power and water valves.
· If your water supply could be affected by a power outage (a well-water pump system), be prepared to 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.
· If pipes freeze, remove insulation, completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they are most exposed to the cold. A hand-held hair dryer, used with caution, also works well.
· If electric power is lost, do not open the refrigerator or freezer door. 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.
· Review the process for manually operating your electric garage door.
· Ensure your Winter Emergency Supply Kit is stocked with supplies to enable you to survive on your own for at least three to five days. There should be a first-aid kit, essential prescription medicines, non-perishable foods (those that require no refrigeration such as canned goods, dried fruits and nuts), a manual can opener, water (one gallon per person, per day), flashlights and extra batteries along with a portable radio or NOAA Weather Radio, baby-care or pet supplies items, extra blankets, sleeping bags and a fire extinguisher.
· Ensure that your Winter Emergency Car Kit is well stocked to keep you and your vehicle safe.
· Be a Good Neighbor. Check with elderly or relatives and neighbors who might need additional assistance to ensure they have made adequate preparations.
MEMA ISSUES TIPS TO ENSURE SAFE WINTER DRIVING
Tips to Prepare Your Car for the Season
FRAMINGHAM, MA – The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has issued information to help people prepare for another New England Winter Season. Attached is a list of Automobile Safety Tips and a list of items to be included in your Winter Emergency Car Kit.
“Since approximately 70% of winter deaths related to snow and ice occur in automobiles, now is the proper time for individuals and families to take the necessary steps to ensure their safety on the roads during the upcoming Winter Season,” said MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz. “Winter weather can present challenges that can be made easier with some basic planning.”
AUTOMOBILE SAFETY TIPS
· Have a well-stocked Winter Emergency Car Kit.
· Keep your gas tank at least half-full.
· Install good winter tires with adequate tread and pressure.
· Keep a windshield scraper and small broom for ice and snow removal. Keep all windows clear of snow and ice and keep your headlights and taillights clear, as well.
· Check your antifreeze, battery, windshield wipers and wiper fluid.
· Plan long trips carefully, listening to the radio or NOAA Weather Radio for the latest weather forecasts and road conditions. Consider Public Transportation.
· Let others know your timetable and primary and alternate routes. Allow extra time. The first ½” of snow is sometimes the most slippery. Allow adequate braking distance from the car in front of you.
· Slow down. Many times hazards like black ice are not seen until it is too late. Remember bridges and overpasses can freeze up sooner than roadways.
· Be extra alert. Snowdrifts can hide children or other vehicles.
· Yield to snowplows giving them plenty of room to safely do their job. Be patient and follow at a safe distance.
· Travel during daylight hours, and if possible, take another person with you.
· If a blizzard traps you in your car, pull off the highway. Turn on hazard lights and hang a brightly colored distress flag/cloth from your radio antenna or window.
· Remain in your vehicle where rescuers are more likely to find you. Do not set out on foot, unless you can see a building close by where you know you can take shelter.
· Run the engine and heater about 10 minutes each hour to keep warm. When the engine is running, crack open the window slightly for ventilation. Periodically clear snow from the exhaust pipe.
· Exercise to maintain body heat, but avoid overexertion. In extreme cold, use road maps, seat covers and floor mats for insulation. Huddle with passengers.
· Take turns sleeping. One person should be awake at all times to look for rescue crews.
· Drink fluids to avoid dehydration.
· Be careful not to waste battery power. Balance electricity energy needs: the use of lights, heat and radio.
· At night, turn on the inside dome light so work crews and rescuers can see you.
· After snow stops falling, raise the hood to indicate you need help.
WINTER EMERGENCY CAR KIT
· Flashlight with extra batteries
· Charged cell phone/automobile charger
· Basic first-aid kit
· Necessary medications
· Pocket knife
· Blankets or sleeping bags
· Extra clothes (include rain gear, boots, mittens, socks)
· High-calorie, non-perishable foods (dried fruits, nuts, canned food)
· Manual can opener
· Container of water
· Windshield scraper & brush
· Fire extinguisher
· Sand/road salt/cat litter for generating traction
· Tire chains or traction mats
· Basic tool kit (pliers, wrench, screwdriver)
· Tow rope
· Battery jumper cables
· Road flares/reflectors
· Brightly colored cloth to utilize as a flag
· Road maps
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