Groveland Police Department
Robert Kirmelewicz, Chief
Public Safety Building
181 Main St
Groveland, MA 01834

Groveland Fire Department
Robert B. Lay, Fire Chief
Public Safety Building
181 Main St
Groveland, MA 01834

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015

Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: john@jgpr.net

*Joint Press Release*

Groveland Police and Fire Offer Hurricane Safety Tips

GROVELAND — Because Massachusetts is in the middle of hurricane season, Police Chief Robert Kirmelewicz and Fire Chief Robert Lay ask that the community prepare for the possibility of a dangerous storm.

Severe weather, like a hurricane or tropical storm, which the state is at risk of receiving until November 30, brings heavy rain and strong winds. This can cause a multitude of problems like power outages, fallen debris and floods that often block roads and repair vehicles, prolonging damage.

Chief Kirmelewicz and Chief Lay ask that all residents follow the tips outlined by the Massachusetts Emergency Agency (MEMA) — a state-run organization tasked with preparing the commonwealth for natural and man-made disasters — to prepare for long-term power outages.

“Although hurricanes are rare in our area, we must be prepared for any circumstance,”Chief Kirmelewickz said. “We want our residents to be safe at all times.”

• Check flashlights and portable radios to confirm they’re working.
—- A radio is an important source of weather and emergency information during a storm.
—- Use flashlights for lighting, not candles which can be a fire hazard.

• Fully charge your cell phone, laptop and any other devices before the storm.

• If you own a car, make sure its gas tank is at least half full in the event you need to travel.  Purchase a car phone charger so that you can charge your device if you lose power at your home.

• Ensure that you have an emergency kit that has basic medicine and bandages.

• Set your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings (remember to reset them back to normal once power is restored). During an outage, minimize the number of times you open the refrigerator or freezer door.
—- Food can stay cold in a full refrigerator for up to 24 hours and in a well-packed freezer for 48 hours (24 hours if it is half-packed).

• If you have life-support devices (home dialysis, suction, breathing machines, etc.) that depend on electricity, contact your local electric company about your power needs in advance of an emergency. Some utility companies will put you on a “priority reconnection service” list.
—- Talk to your equipment suppliers about your power options
—- Let the fire department know that you are dependent on life-support devices.

“During an emergency we will make it a priority to assist those most in need,” Chief Lay said. “Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you or a loved one is on a life-support device.”

MEMA suggests purchasing a generator to maintain electricity despite an outage. Generators should always be kept outside since they admit carbon monoxide fumes that can quickly accumulate if indoors.

It is also important that citizens avoid plugging a generator directly into household wiring, a process known as “backfeeding.” Doing so puts utility workers or any neighbors served by the same transformer at risk of electrocution.

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Groveland Police and Fire Offer Hurricane and Power Outage Safety Tips

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