This is the time of
year when our region is exposed to winter weather advisories.
Area residents are urged to take precautions in case of snow,
ice, major storms, and blizzards. The many hazards include slick
roads and walkways, downed trees and electrical wires, limited
visibility, and protracted phone and power outages. The impact
is especially treacherous for those who are already vulnerable.
Here are some things
that our members need to know, to keep themselves and their communities
safer this season.
Protocols: Your unit's Director and Coordinator are
briefed continually on the status of weather emergencies and the
potential need for volunteers. As emphasized in our unit's Standard
Operating Procedures, members must NEVER self-deploy!!!
- If there is no indication
that a call-out is warranted, MRC staff refrains from sending
unnecessary communications to our busy volunteers.
there's a chance that our unit will be asked to respond, we
may send an e-mail to our entire distribution list, asking volunteers
to reply with their 'standby' availability.
- If the storm
passes without incident, we send another message to say so.
- If there IS a
call-out, we schedule and activate members as appropriate
throughout the deployment. In the past, we've had to fill
shifts for all skill levels across five communities for an
- If only a small
number of members with discrete skills are needed, MRC leaders
may contact only a few volunteers individually.
Be aware that MRC leaders
interact regularly with their counterparts from multiple agencies.
Our collective goal is to support efforts that provide the greatest
good for the greatest number, occasionally from outside of our
region. Each request for our member's services is always purely
Preparedness: Make sure that you and your loved ones
will be safe by taking reasonable precautions. Our unit provides
kits for the public at-cost ($50), along with instructions
on how people can make
their own kits. We also encourage members to review winter
storm safety and preparedness guidelines on MEMA's website: http://www.mass.gov/eopss/agencies/mema/emergencies/winter-storms/
Information: For updated forecasts, see www.weather.gov/boston
(National Weather Service Taunton) and www.weather.gov/albany
(National Weather Service Albany). Massachusetts Alerts is a free
app that is available for Android and iPhones. To learn more about
this app and how to download it onto your smartphone, visit: www.mass.gov/mema/mobileapp
Outages: MEMA's real-time power outage viewer lets
you stay informed about current power outages in your community
and region, and across the state, including information from utility
companies about restoration times: http://mema.mapsonline.net/public.html