North Brookfield Savings Bank Releases Tips for Storm Preparedness

Storm season comes with a mix of emotions – anxiety, fear and well, for some, excitement.  Some may love the thrill of watching the movie “Twister”, are fascinated when watching “Natural Disasters” on the Weather Channel, or others may want to not think about storms at all. It’s understandable. Seeing the damage that tornadoes, tropical storms and hurricanes can leave in its path can be scary, but there are ways in which we can all prepare and keep our families and property safe.

“Governor Baker has proclaimed July 16–22 to be Hurricane Preparedness Week to underscore the Commonwealth’s vulnerability to tropical storms and hurricanes.” However, the majority of tropical storms and hurricanes have occurred during the months of August and September. You may fondly remember some of them; Fay, Melissa, Dorian and Florence.

 

Flood Insurance

One of the most important things you can do as a consumer is to assess your area for flood risk and flood insurance coverage. Knowing the flood risk of your property, can determine if you require flood coverage through your insurance provider for your home and property, or if you need to make any adjustments to coverage you have in place.  The American Bankers Association shared that, “FEMA’s map service center will show you the flood risk for your community, which helps determine the type of flood insurance coverage you will need since standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding.”

 

Property Survey for Dangerous Items

Flood insurance is not the only way to protect your home.  When you know severe weather is on its way, survey your property for any items that could get uprooted and potentially damage your home in the process.  For instance, make sure patio furniture, grills, pool equipment and lawn games are all put away in a shed or other area where they cannot be scooped up by strong winds and rain.  It also is a good reminder to turn off gas and other utilities.

 

Have an Emergency Plan

It is vital to make certain that everyone in your family knows the plan if severe weather were to strike.  Do you have a written plan and have you discussed it with your children?  Does everyone know where they will meet up if separated? One of the things I always think about is who is grabbing what pet before we go down to the basement. After all, they are family too.

When creating your plan, it is important to include the following:

  • Know how you will communicate with one another if you get separated
  • Have a central meeting location
  • Have an emergency contact list and give everyone a copy
  • Locate the nearest shelter and storm resources, you can download the Shelter Finder app for assistance
  • Will your shelter allow pets, if not contact the local animal shelter for guidance
  • Have a concrete evacuation plan and a Plan B
  • Revisit it often and update as required

 

Make an Emergency Preparedness Kit

Following health guidelines are also important.  In a world where social distancing and masks are the new normal, make sure you know what the expectations are where you are going.  Take precautions and have masks, gloves, sanitizer and soaps in your emergency kit.  Don’t forget your necessary prescriptions and for those who may have several, it is good to keep an active list with dosages on your person.  Having a list of doctors and hospitals your family uses can also come in handy should someone need emergency medical care.

Compiling an Emergency Preparedness Kit is a must. Some items that you should consider for your kit are:

  • Bottled water
  • Shelf-stable food
  • Flashlights
  • Radio and batteries or walkie-talkies
  • First-aid kit
  • Cleaning and sanitation supplies
  • Clothing
  • Cell phones, chargers and battery packs
  • Cash, credit and checks
  • Pet necessities
  • Medications, medication lists and medical supplies
  • Emergency contact list

Get your checklist here: Emergency Kit Checklist

 

Stay Informed

The most important thing you can do is to stay informed.  You can do this by making sure you have the ability to receive emergency alerts.  Some resources you can follow are; the Emergency Alert System, Wireless Emergency Alerts, NOAA Weather Radio, social and traditional news media, 2-1-1 hotline and local notification systems.

The FEMA website Ready.gov, offers tips on preparing for an emergency. FEMA offers a free app that is available for download through your smart phone. For more resources, visit the FEMA site: http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes.

When all is said and done, it is always better to be prepared should a storm makes its way through out local communities. North Brookfield Savings Bank is always here to help our neighbors, no matter what comes your way. We hope these compiled resources help you to feel confident, safe and prepared.