In the run-up to a potential visit from Hurricane Sandy, city safety officials are offering these tips to prepare. The Boston Emergency Management says we could get damaging wind and heavy rain as early as Sunday. They stress that now is the time to put your hurricane preparations in place:
- Tie down yard furniture or bring things inside
- Clear gutters and street drains
- Have battery-powered radio, flashlights, food and water ready
- If you have kids, plan some power-free activities for them
- Do you have an emergency plan? If not, here's how.
- Put together an emergency kit to get your family through three days
- If you aren't already signed up for ALERTBoston, do it. You'll get updates from the city's emergency department.
The following tips have been slightly edited from their form on the city's hurricane preparedness page:
If a Storm is Approaching
- Keep informed by listening to the radio, TV and checking here at JP Patch.
- Turn off utilities as instructed. Otherwise, turn your refrigerator and/or freezer thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its door closed.
- Turn off propane tanks.
- Stock a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water.
- Prepare your home by covering your windows with pre-cut ply wood, bringing in all outdoor objects that are not tied down, and keep all trees and shrubs well trimmed so that they are wind resistant.
- If you are directed to evacuate by local authorities, do so in a timely manner and follow all instructions. Stick to designated evacuation routes.
More Information on Evacuations »
What to do During a Hurricane
- If you are unable to evacuate, stay indoors and away from windows. Keep curtains and blinds closed.
- Close all interior doors, and secure and brace external doors.
- Go to a safe indoor place, such as an interior room, closet, or hallway, on the lowest level. If necessary, lie on the floor under a table or other sturdy object until the storm passes.
- Don't be tricked by a lull in the storm. It may be the calmer center of the storm passing over, and the storm will resume.
What to do After a Hurricane
- Immediately after a storm, use extreme caution going out of doors. Be alert for hazards such as broken glass and damage to buildings.
- Continue listening to the radio or TV and follow instructions from local authorities.
- Do not drink tap water until you know it's safe.
Firefighters Are Ready
The Boston Fire Department says it is ready to help, no matter what happens. "The reality is, for us" said spokesperson Steve MacDonald, "we respond to any number of incidents."
The number-one storm-related problem firefighters help address is downed power lines and tree limbs. MacDonald said if you see wires down, don't approach them. Call 911 so authorities can investigate to see if they're dangerous.