How To Get Prepared
The State of New Hampshire experiences all natural and man-made hazards with the exception of an active volcano. Being prepared for an emergency involves learning as much as you can and developing plans to act. In times when national or local events dictate, you should increase your level of awareness and take steps to prepare your family in the event that you are directly affected by these disasters. This can mean a pending storm, earthquake aftermath, or something involving an act of terrorism. The more prepared you are to help yourself, the more effective emergency services become.
If you have an emergency, you should know how to get help. But how does the Town provide you with information about a disaster? If an emergency occurs in a small area, citizens are contacted door-to-door and given instructions. If time permits, a handout is printed and distributed. In a larger area, or in a fast breaking emergency, each Town vehicle with a public address system may be assigned an area to make emergency announcements. This may also be accompanied by door-to-door contact. In this modern age of communications, radio stations send out emergency information. The Town maintains close ties with news organizations in Seacoast New Hampshire and they would provide information to listeners and viewers. The following is a list of local radio stations: WOKQ: 97.5; WERZ: 107.1; WHEB: 100.3; and WTSN: 1270.
Winter storms are a fact of life in northern New England. Most of the time a severe winter storm is more likely to be an inconvenience than a life threatening one, as long as you take the proper precautions and don’t take chances. Before winter starts, stock up on food and batteries for your flashlights and radio. Make sure you have a wired telephone available; cordless phones won’t work if the power is out, and cell phones may not work because of high call volumes. When a storm is on the way, keep track of it via radio, television or Internet. Stay indoors during the storm. Don’t overexert yourself by shoveling snow. If you do go outdoors, dress well and be careful. In a white-out you may not be able to see your home from 50 feet away. Be careful of falling ice. NEVER use an outdoor heating appliance like a gas or charcoal grill inside for cooking or heating. They pose an extreme hazard for carbon monoxide poisoning. Stay away from the beach, as flooding may cause roads to be shut down, and watching the store from the seawall can be dangerous as well. Here are a few informational articles of interest from the Public Health Corp: (1) How to Prepare for a Winter Storm; (2) Earthquake Proof Your Home: How to Prepare Your Home and Property for an Earthquake; (3) Disaster Preparedness for Livestock; (4) Hurricane Safety Checklists; (5) Storm Spotting for Children: At-Home Meteorology.
During an electrical storm get inside and stay away from electrical objects. Turn off your radio, television and computer. Use your battery-operated radio. The safest areas are in the center of a room. Do not use the telephone or any electrical appliance. If your home is struck by lightning, call the Fire Department immediately, and advise them of the nature of the damage as well as if there are any injuries.
Emergency Preparedness Guide for Seniors and Caretakers:
Local Emergency Preparedness Information: www.nhoem.state.nh.us
American Red Cross: www.redcross.org
Weather Service – Gray, Maine: www.erh.noaa.gov/gyx
Lightning Safety Information: www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov
US Department of Homeland Security: www.ready.gov
Humane Society – Protect Your Pets
American Veterinary Medical Association: Ready for Anything: First Aid for Pets