Jeffrey D. Nutting, Town Administrator
355 East Central Street
Franklin, MA 02038
For Immediate Release
Friday, Oct. 2, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Contact: Jessica Sacco
Franklin Police and Fire Offer Hurricane and Flood Safety Tips
FRANKLIN — Hurricane Joaquin remains a potentially dangerous category four storm. Although latest forecasts show a direct hit is unlikely for New England, Police Chief Stephan Semerjian and Fire Chief Gary B. McCarraher advise that the community take safety precautions to prepare for potentially serious weather
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.
Franklin 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 flood of water that 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.
“Due to the predicted storm this weekend, keep an eye on the amount of rainfall the town receives, as it may accumulate quickly and flood roads,” Chief McCarraher said. “Remain inside when possible and avoid traveling in areas that are prone to flooding.”
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.