Rick Smith, Chief of Police
1 Union St.
Wakefield, MA 01880
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Wakefield Police Provide Safety Tips for Hurricane Season
WAKEFIELD – With hurricane season in effect until the fall, Chief Rick Smith and the Wakefield Police Department recommend that residents take the necessary safety precautions to prepare themselves for a potentially serious storm.
Severe weather, like a hurricane or tropical storm, which the state is at risk of receiving until November 30, brings heavy rain and strong winds. This can cause a multitude of problems like power outages, fallen debris and floods that often block roads and repair vehicles, prolonging damage.
Chief Smith asks that all residents follow tips outlined by the Massachusetts Emergency Agency (MEMA) — a state-run organization tasked with preparing the commonwealth for natural and man-made disasters — to prepare for long-term power outages.
“We all know that New England weather can be quite temperamental, so we advise that the community be prepared for any situation,” Chief Smith said. “Be cautious and stay safe.”
• Check flashlights and portable radios to confirm they’re working.
—- A radio is an important source of weather and emergency information during a storm.
—- Use flashlights for lighting, not candles which can be a fire hazard.
• Fully charge your cell phone, laptop and any other devices before the storm.
• If you own a car, make sure its gas tank is at least half full in the event you need to travel. Purchase a car phone charger so that you can charge your device if you lose power at your home.
• Ensure that you have an emergency kit that has basic medicine and bandages.
• Set your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings (remember to reset them back to normal once power is restored). During an outage, minimize the number of times you 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 life-support devices (home dialysis, suction, breathing machines, etc.) that depend on electricity, contact your local electric company about your power needs in advance of an emergency. Some utility companies will put you on a “priority reconnection service” list.
—- Talk to your equipment suppliers about your power options
—- Let the fire department know that you are dependent on life-support devices.
MEMA suggests purchasing a generator to maintain electricity despite an outage. Generators should always be kept outside since they admit carbon monoxide fumes that can quickly accumulate if indoors.
It is also important that citizens avoid plugging a generator directly into household wiring, a process known as “backfeeding.” Doing so puts utility workers or any neighbors served by the same transformer at risk of electrocution.