Hurricane Preparedness

Published August 21, 2009 | Fire Department | Updated November 21, 2014 | Automatically Archived on 8/28/2009

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With Hurricane Season Underway, Families & Individuals Should Review Their Plans

FRAMINGHAM, MA – As state officials continue to monitor the projected path of Hurricane Bill and any possible impact on Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is encouraging individuals and families to review their hurricane preparedness.

Governor Deval Patrick has directed MEMA to continue engaging the National Weather Service and track the path of Hurricane Bill. While it is unlikely the storm will make landfall, MEMA has initiated routine coordination calls with their federal, state, and local partners to review well established preparedness, response, and recovery plans.

“Every home and business should have a basic emergency supply kit that could be used for any emergency, regardless of the time of year,” states MEMA Director Don Boyce. “Everyone should keep certain items around the house and workplace in the event you are isolated for three to five days without power.”

Each emergency kit should have a portable radio, flashlight, extra batteries, a supply of non-perishable foods, along with bottled water, a first aid kit, extra prescription medication, and extra food and supplies for infants and pets. A manual can opener and a basic first aid kit are also essential. MEMA recommends that families develop a Disaster Supply Kit “Go Bag”, with essentials in case you must evacuate quickly.

“All families should develop a ‘Family Emergency Communication Plan’ to help ensure everyone is safe. You should contact your local authorities to learn about your community’s potential evacuation routes and the location of emergency shelters,” said Boyce. “It is important to familiarize yourself with your Community’s Emergency Plans before an emergency situation occurs. It is also essential to familiarize yourself with your community’s Emergency Management Plans.”


  • Canned goods and nonperishable foods, particularly those that do not need cooking:
  • Canned meats and fish
  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Canned soups and puddings
  • Canned fruit juices
  • Dried fruit and nuts
  • Bread, cookies and crackers
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Coffee and tea
  • Manual can opener
  • Bottled water (1 gallon per person/per day)
  • Prescription medication (2-week supply)
  • Extra eyeglasses
  • Pet food/supplies
  • Water purification tablets (halazone)
  • Disposable plates, cups, and utensils
  • Infant care items:
  • Disposable diapers
  • Baby wipes
  • Baby food
  • Formula
  • First aid supplies
  • Masking and duct tape
  • Flashlight or lantern, with extra batteries
  • Battery operated radio, with extra batteries
  • Watch or battery operated clock
  • Ice chest
  • Matches
  • Canned heat (sterno)
  • Portable outdoor camping stove or grill with fuel supply
  • A certain amount of cash
  • Important documents (Such as wills, deeds, prescriptions, passports, birth certificates, health record, proof of address, Social Security number)
  • Emergency generator
  • Plastic trash bags
  • Plastic sheeting or tarp
  • Chlorinated bleach
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Other useful items:
  • Work gloves
  • Sun lotion
  • Insect repellent
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Wrenches
  • Handsaw
  • Razor knife
  • Ax or chainsaw
  • Rope caulking
  • Nails and screws
  • Rope and wire
  • Broom, mop and bucket
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Ladder
  • Sandbags
  • Portable generator
  • Tree pruner
  • Shovel, rake and wheelbarrow
  • Sheets of plywood


Develop a Family Emergency Communications Plan in case family members are separated from one another during an emergency (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school, camp or at a friend’s house). This plan should also address reunification after the immediate crisis passes.

  • Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the Family Emergency Communications Plan contact person. During and immediately after a disaster occurs, it is often easier to access a long distance telephone number than a local one. Also, calling outside a disaster area is usually easier than calling into the same area.
  • Make sure everyone knows the name, address and telephone number of the Family Emergency Communications Plan contact person.
  • Designate two meeting areas for family members – one within your community (your primary location), and one outside of your community (your alternate location). Sometimes an emergency could impact your neighborhood or small section of the community, so a second location outside of your community would be more accessible to all family members.

A Family Emergency Communications Plan can help reassure everyone’s safety and minimize the stress associated with emergencies.


Educate yourself and family about emergency plans for your community, place of business, your child’s school and camp. Know what potential risks your community and neighborhood are susceptible to in a hurricane, such as storm surge, flooding, etc. Know what your community’s potential notification systems, emergency shelters, and evacuation routes. Carefully monitor the Media and follow instructions from Public Safety officials as hurricane approaches.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is the state agency responsible for coordinating federal, state, local, voluntary and private resources during emergencies and disasters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. MEMA provides leadership to: develop plans for effective response to all hazards, disasters or threats; train emergency personnel to protect the public; provide information to the citizenry; and assist individuals, families, businesses and communities to mitigate against, prepare for, and respond to and recover from emergencies, both natural and man made. For additional information about MEMA and Hurricane Preparedness, go to