Hurricane Preparedness Links
For up to date hurricane information, visit the following links:
Hurricane Preparedness Information Provided By Red Cross
Before the storm:
· Prepare a family disaster supplies kit. Check out the web site Cape Cod & Islands Red Cross. Be Red Cross Ready and Special Hurricane Information Sheets are available online. Make sure batteries are fresh and food is in good condition.
· Know if your home is prone to flooding. Call your local emergency management official, or the Red Cross at (508) 775 1540 ext. 15.
· Take action when a hurricane WATCH is posted. If you wait for a WARNING, it is too late.
· If you will need to evacuate, plan somewhere to stay.
· If it is safe to weather the storm in your home, remember to board up windows (don’t tape them), and secure all outdoor items.
· Know how to turn off the utilities to your house.
· Fill your vehicle’s fuel tank.
· Assemble a first aid kit.
· Remove diseased or damaged tree limbs, or ones likely to damage your home.
· Plan a safe place for the family pet. For small pets, those that fit in a carrier, the Red Cross has collaborated with Cape Cod DART, which will manage pet shelters located adjacent to some Red Cross shelters. Each pet needs to be in its own carrier and owners must be sure to bring food and water for the animal, enough for at least three days. For more information, see What about Pets?
· Check on elderly or infirm neighbors and help them prepare for the storm.
During the storm:
If the power goes out, use flashlights for lighting. Do not use candles.
Do not call 911 unless there is a real emergency.
Keep all windows and doors closed tight. It is a dangerous myth that you should leave a window partially open during the storm.
Remember, the safest place in a house is an interior room on the lowest floor.
Monitor the battery-operated radio for public safety instructions.
After the storm:
Beware of downed power lines.
Cookout grills and generators pose risks of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning if used improperly.
Be careful! If there is an emergency, help may take time to get to you.
Use flashlights for lighting. Candles are unsafe, and if you have a fire, help may be delayed reaching you.
Since shelter information is continually being updated, a list with potential Red Cross operated Shelters can be found online as well as other updated information at Cape Cod & Islands Red Cross.
In the event of a disaster, press releases will contain up-to-date information on the shelters the Red Cross is operating. Please consider the following points:
· Not all shelters open for every disaster. You can rely on information from the REPC or official Red Cross releases publicizing shelter openings.
· Red Cross shelters are open to everyone, regardless of where they’re from.
· Some towns open their own shelters, not staffed with the Red Cross. Information on these shelters will be sent to you directly from town emergency management officials.
Shelter Talking Points
· Red Cross does not open shelters. We operate them after they are opened by the Regional
· Emergency Planning Committee and local emergency management officials.
· Don’t go to a shelter if:
o You need regular medical supervision. Call your doctor or your local fire department, using the business telephone number.
o You feel safe riding out the storm with friends or family, as long as their home is not in an Evacuation zone. When in doubt, come to the shelter.
· If you come to a shelter, bring your own bedding. Cots will be reserved for the elderly and infirm. Air mattresses and chaise lounges work nicely.
· Bring snacks. There may be limited food supply in the shelter and it may be a while before additional food is available.
· Bring your own prescription medications.
· Bring important papers, including something with your address on it. Don’t bring large amounts of cash or valuables, weapons, alcohol or illicit drugs.
· Bring a book, playing cards and quiet activities for children.
What about pets?
Red Cross people shelters cannot accept pets (though service animals are always welcome). This policy is designed to ensure that Red Cross shelters are safe and comfortable places for everyone. But the Cape Cod and the Islands Chapter of the American Red Cross realizes that, for many people, pets are considered members of the family. The Cape Cod and the Islands Chapter has taken part in a dialogue with local emergency managers and encouraged them to establish rooms or areas in the facilities which house both Red Cross shelters and where pet owners and their pets can stay separately. These pet-friendly facilities are located alongside, but are not under the control of Red Cross shelters.
A key element of the full-service regional shelter includes being able to provide shelter for pets, which is organized by the Cape Cod Disaster Animal Response Team (CCDART). The experiences in past emergencies show that some residents have been reluctant to leave for shelters because they don’t want to leave their pets. Currently three out of the six regional shelters can accommodate pets but the plan calls for all six shelters to have this capability.
At the present time, emergency animal care during a declared emergency/disaster will be limited to three proposed Regional shelters with animal care components – Dennis-Yarmouth High School (DY) in Yarmouth, Cape Cod Regional Technical High School in Harwich and the Oak Ridge School in Sandwich. Animals admitted to these shelters will be limited to dogs, cats, ferrets and other small mammals (gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, mice, rabbits, potbelly pigs) brought to the shelters by owners or rescuers. Birds, reptiles, fish, arachnids, wild or feral animals, endangered or threatened species, and exotic pets are excluded. Other animal care shelters will be staffed as locations become available.
· Pet owners should come prepared with a disaster kit for each pet being admitted to the pet shelter. The pet disaster kit should include the following:
· Medications, a first-aid kit, and medical records stored in a waterproof container. A pet first-aid book is also a handy to have.
· Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and carriers to transport pets safely and to ensure that your pets can't escape. Carriers should be large enough for the animal to stand comfortably, turn around, and lie down. Your pet may have to stay in the carrier for hours as you weather out the storm at a shelter. Be sure to have a secure cage with no loose objects inside it. These may require blankets or towels for bedding and warmth, and other special items.
· Current photos and descriptions of your pets to help others identify them, and to prove that they are yours.
· Bowls, cat litter and litter box, a manual can opener, and enough food and water to feed each of your pets for at least three days. Stock up on non-perishables well ahead of time and add any perishable items at the last minute.
· Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian.
· Pet beds and toys, if you can easily take them, to reduce stress.
· Other helpful items include newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags, grooming items, and household bleach.
· Once you have your items collected, keep them accessible and stored in sturdy containers (duffel bags, covered trash containers, etc.) that can be carried easily.
· In order to admit your pet(s) to the pet shelter, you must have a pet carrier, leash or halter/lead, litter pan, food and water bowls, medications, medical records, identification papers, a supply of food and some bottled water, etc., for each animal. Always keep them together in an easily reached place. Include photos of yourself with each animal to aid in identification later. Each animal needs ID -- you cannot possibly have too much identification on your animal!
· Owners must care for their own animals in a shelter, under CCDART supervision. Shelter Managers or their designees will normally require the following:
o Only animals that are prepared – healthy, properly identified and vaccinated, manageable, and restrained (in a crate or cage and on a leash) – will be admitted to the emergency animal care center.
o Owners are responsible for providing food, water, sanitation and hands-on care during approved visiting hours.
o Owners are responsible for providing and administering all medications. (Medications generally will not be kept with the animal.)
o Owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets. Whether outdoors or indoors, owners must gather and dispose of pet waste and keep crates clean.
o Once at the shelter, owners must sign a Pet Owner Sheltering Agreement.
o For more information, please visit CCDART’s website, www.capecoddart.org, or call 508-737-9467.
What About Evacuation?
The vast majority of people who will be on the Cape and Islands when a hurricane strikes will be safely able to shelter in place. Those whose homes are likely to suffer damage from winds or storm surge will be advised to leave for higher ground. Any evacuations are ordered by local or state emergency management officials, not by the Red Cross.
The Massachusetts State Police and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency have stated that a large-scale evacuation of the Cape and Islands is unnecessary, and most likely, impossible.
Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee
The following website has a number of resources and up to date information that is valuable for anyone trying to prepare themselves or their loved ones for an emergency event.
Emergency Management Institute