Leonard Campanello, Chief of Police
197 Main St.
Gloucester , MA 01930
Gloucester Fire Department
Eric Smith, Fire Chief
8 School St.
Gloucester, MA 01930
For Immediate Release
Friday, Oct. 2, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Gloucester Police and Fire Departments Provide Hurricane and Flood Safety Tips
GLOUCESTER — As Hurricane Joaquin is now rated a category four storm, with the chance that it may impact New England next week, Police Chief Leonard Campanello, Fire Chief Eric Smith and Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken recommend that residents take the necessary safety precautions to prepare themselves for a potentially serious storm.
We are in the middle of the annual hurricane season. The state is at risk of receiving a hurricane or tropical storm until November 30. Heavy rain and strong winds can cause a multitude of problems like power outages, fallen debris and floods that often block roads and emergency vehicles, prolonging damage.
“We want to make sure all residents are prepared for what could be a severe tropical storm this weekend,” Chief Campanello said. “As a seaside community, we need to take extra precautions to be sure everyone stays safe.”
Gloucester Police and Fire suggest that all residents follow tips outlined by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) — a state-run organization tasked with preparing the commonwealth for natural and man-made disasters — in the event of a flood watch or warning alert.
- Don’t attempt to drive through large puddles or on flooded roads, which could threaten your safety. Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.
- If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground. Flash floods are the number one cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S.
- If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground. Do not leave the car and enter moving water.
- Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.
“Conditions on the coast can quickly become dangerous during a tropical storm,” Chief Smith said. “We are urging residents to follow these safety tips and to stay inside if the roads become dangerous for travel.”
MEMA also recommends purchasing a generator to maintain electricity despite an outage. Generators should always be kept outside since they emit carbon monoxide fumes that can quickly accumulate if indoors.
- Check flashlights and portable radios to confirm they’re working.
- 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.
“Our community faces an increased risk due to our location,” Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken said. “I am strongly encouraging residents to make note of the safety tips provided and to stay inside if possible during strong storm conditions.”
Be prepared! Pack a bag with important items in case you need to evacuate. Don’t forget to include needed medications and any valuable personal belongings.