Jan 04

Brewster Emergency Management Encourages Residents to Prepare for Severe Winter Weather

The Brewster Office of Emergency Management wants to ensure that the residents of the Brewster are prepared for severe weather. In Massachusetts, a winter storm may range from a moderate snowfall over several hours to a Nor’easter with blizzard conditions that lasts for days. Severe winter weather may be accompanied by dangerously cold weather, strong winds, coastal flooding, and heavy snow. Residents of Brewster must be prepared for prolonged power outages, difficult to impossible travel, and stores and businesses being closed. As we move into winter we encourage all residents to stay informed of changing weather conditions, build home and car emergency kits, have family and business emergency plans, and take some simple steps to mitigate the impacts of severe weather.

Stay Informed – Monitor changing winter weather conditions and receive emergency alerts.
• Download the free Massachusetts Alerts app for your iOS or Android device for weather alerts from the National Weather Service and messages from MEMA. Visit www.mass.gov/mema/mobileapp
• Monitor local TV stations for the latest storm updates.
• Sign up for your community’s emergency alerting system by contacting local public safety officials.
• Have a battery operated radio to monitor news and weather in case of a power outage.

Build an Emergency Kit – Have an emergency kit in your home and car in case you lose power, are isolated in your home, or become stranded in your vehicle during severe winter weather.
• For Your Home – Have enough food, water, batteries, flashlights, medicine and other supplies in an emergency kit to last for at least 72 hours.
• For Your Vehicle – Store emergency supplies in your car’s winter emergency kit in case your vehicle breaks down or you become stranded during cold weather.

Make an Emergency Plan – Make a plan with your family and household members for what to do and how to communicate in an emergency.
• Identify friends or family that you might stay with if you lose power during cold weather.
• If you receive medical treatments or home health care services, work with your medical provider to determine how to maintain care and service if you are unable to leave your home for a period of time during a winter storm.
• If you have transportation needs, work with local transportation providers and/or disability services (Council-on-Aging) to plan ahead for accessible transportation.
• Provide every family member with the name, address, and phone number of the family’s emergency contact.

Steps to Mitigate the Impacts of Severe Weather – Prepare your home by removing dead or rotting trees and branches, check that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working, insulate your home, and take other actions to prepare your home for winter weather. Additionally, winter storms can cause extended power outages which can be dangerous during extreme cold weather. Have alternate phone charging methods, learn how to use your emergency generator safely, plan for your unique medical needs and take other steps to prepare for power outages.

When driving in winter weather, keep your gas tank at least half full, ensure adequate tire tread and pressure, and check your antifreeze level, battery, defroster, windshield wipers, wiper fluid, and other vehicle equipment. Make every attempt to remain home and off the roadways during major storms.

If possible keep fire hydrants in your vicinity clear of snow and automobiles to ensure the rapid use by the fire department in the event of a fire.

Do not leave unattended candles lit in your home during power outages. The improper use of candles is a significant cause of residential fires.

Clear all exterior furnace vents of snow to eliminate potential build-up carbon monoxide in your home.

In the event of an emergency remember to call 911. All 911 emergency calls in Brewster are answered by the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Communication Center where all Police related calls are transferred over to the Brewster Police and all fire and EMS calls are immediately dispatched. Direct calls to fire headquarters during storm events must be avoided due to the fact that all staff members may be responding to incidents which will result in your emergency call going unanswered.

Residents seeking further storm or emergency management information may call Brewster Fire Headquarters at 508-896-7018 Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.