Before A Storm
With the first signs of an approaching hurricane or winter storm, make sure we have your up-to-date contact information, so we can get in touch before, during and after the storm.
Home Use Medical Devices
If you are a home medical device user, it is important that your device works during a power outage and that you have a plan in place to ensure you know what to do.
By completing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration booklet with the help of a healthcare professional, "Home Use Devices: How to Prepare for and Handle Power Outages for Medical Devices that Require Electricity," (PDF) you will have an established plan to obtain and organize your medical device information, take necessary actions so that you can continue to use your device, have the necessary supplies for the operation of your device, and know where to go or what to do during a power outage. Remember to update this booklet as your treatment, doctors, caregivers, or personal contacts change.
Here are some other preparations that you can make before a storm hits.
- Build an Emergency Kit with essential items to meet the unique needs of your family. To help build your kit, the Mass. Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has a detailed checklist available.
- Stock up on non-perishables, such as canned goods and pet food, and make sure you have adequate medical supplies and prescriptions for yourself and your pets.
- Pick up some paper goods: paper plates, paper towels, plastic ware. Turn the temperature controls on your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting to keep food cold in the event of a power outage.
- Fill several large containers with water for drinking and also fill the bath tub so you have water to flush your toilet. Keep flashlights, batteries, candles and matches on hand and make sure they are available throughout the house.
- Have a battery-powered radio available.
- Make sure you have fresh batteries that are the correct size for the flashlights and radio. Be sure there’s a first aid kit in the house.
- Fill your car with gasoline since you don’t know where you’ll have to go. Your car can also be a good place to get warm, as long as you keep it well ventilated and don’t go to sleep while it is running.
- Be prepared to cook outside. You can use charcoal or propane grills or even a camping cook stove if the power goes out. However, never bring grills inside!
- Have extra gasoline on hand if you own an electric generator.
- Place a list of emergency numbers near a phone (landline, since cordless phones don’t work during outages) and in your mobile phone: Red Cross, fire, police, family doctor.
- Invest in an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). During a momentary power outage, the UPS will continue to provide power to your personal computer. (A UPS is not designed to operate a computer indefinitely, only long enough to allow users time to save their work and shut down properly.)
Hurricanes & Other Severe Weather
If a severe weather or hurricane warning is put into place, and the storm becomes imminent, take the following precautions. Some of the items below can be done well in advance of a storm, while others should be done a day or two a major storm is forecast to impact your area.
- Tape, board or shutter windows and glass doors.
- Secure all outdoor objects that could become airborne by high winds.
- Tie down mobile homes or moored boats, or move them to a safe location.
- Wedge sliding glass doors to prevent them from lifting from their tracks.
- Load up a cooler with ice and food you can use during the first hours of an outage.
- In the winter, close off unused rooms to conserve heat. Open curtains and shades to let sunlight in; close them at night. Stock up on firewood.
- Plug sensitive computer and electronic equipment into surge suppressors or surge protectors. A surge suppressor diverts excessive electrical energy away from your equipment to an electrical "ground" where it disappears without doing any harm.