Chief Michael P Murphy
150 Park St.
North Reading, MA 01864
For Immediate Release
Friday, Oct. 2, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
North Reading Police Department Provides Tropical Weather and Flood Safety Tips
NORTH READING — As Hurricane Joaquin is now rated a category four storm, with the chance that it may impact New England next week, Police Chief Michael P. Murphy and the North Reading Police Department are urging residents to take the necessary safety precautions to prepare themselves for a potentially serious storm.
Town officials are actively monitoring Hurricane Jaoquin and will activate the North Reading Emergency Operation Center if needed.
We are in the middle of the annual Atlantic hurricane season. The region 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.
“As much as we like to say we are used to severe and unpredictable weather here in New England, tropical storms and hurricanes present a unique set of challenges that thankfully do not strike us often,” Chief Murphy said. “I hope all residents will take the time to have a storm plan and heed the warnings about flash floods and impassible roads in the event of severe weather.”
Effectively communicating with residents during a major incident remains a significant challenge. When there is widespread power loss throughout the community, the police department will try to utilize social media and the news media to get important information out to the residents. During a major incident, Police, Fire, DPW, Reading Light as well as other emergency responders work closely together, communicating and coordinating their efforts to control and reduce the hazards associated with the incidents. Together, these agencies utilize the resources they have to get important information out to the residents.
Even though the chance for a direct impact from Jaoquin is low as of Friday morning, the Police Department asks 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.
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.
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.