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Brookline Office Of Emergency Management Shares Tips To Help Residents During Emergency Preparedness Month

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September is Emergency Preparedness Month, and Chief John F. Sullivan and the Brookline Office of Emergency Management would like to remind residents of the importance of having an emergency plan and ensuring they take steps before an emergency in order to stay safe.

Gov. Charlie Baker declared September Emergency Preparedness Month, and residents are urged to utilize resources from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency to ensure they are ready.

The Brookline Office of Emergency Management would like to share the following helpful tips and recommendations from MEMA, in order to help residents protect themselves, their families and their properties in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency.

Be Informed

Both the town and the Commonwealth offer emergency alerts to keep residents up to date with the latest information about any ongoing emergency.

Brookline residents should sign up for AlertBrookline, which is a notification system that allows residents to receive emergency updates via text, email, or phone call. To enroll online, visit the Town of Brookline specific CodeRED webpage here.

To enroll on a mobile device, text alertbrookline (all one word) to 99411 to receive a direct link to the enrollment form.

To create an account, users will be asked to either log-in via Google, Facebook or Twitter, or create a separate account with a unique username and password. On the next page users will be asked to enter their name, address, phone number, mobile provider, e-mail address and which types of alerts they would like to receive (emergency or emergency/ general).

To learn about additional state and federal emergency notification systems, please visit here.

Build an Emergency Kit

Having an emergency kit ensures you have the items you need at a moment’s notice. An emergency kit should contain:

  • Water: One gallon per person per day for at least three days, plus water purification tablets;
  • Food: At least a three-day supply of non-perishable foods that do not need cooking (ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables, or juices, protein or granola bars, cereal, peanut butter, dried fruit, nuts, crackers, baby food, comfort foods);
  • Tools & Supplies: Manual can opener, Radio (battery-powered or hand crank), flashlight or lantern, extra batteries, cell phone with charger, wrench, pliers, and other basic tools;
  • Personal Items: Prescription medications (two-week supply), personal hygiene items, eyeglasses, contact lenses, dentures, extra batteries or supplies for medical equipment, change of clothes, sturdy shoes;
  • Pets: Collar, leash, harness, crate, food, bowls, current photo, license and medical information;
  • Documents: Insurance policies, bank account records, identification cards (IDs), medical information, and other copies of important documents;
  • Money: Extra cash and traveler’s checks (ATMs may not work during a power outage);
  • Other Items: First-aid kit, emergency whistle, waterproof matches/lighter, local area maps, diapers, wipes, formula, and baby food and supplies (if needed).

You should also consider including items like a watch or clock, household chlorine bleach, a camp stove or grill, disposable plates, cups and utensils, duct tape, seasonal items to protect against the elements, books, games, puzzles and other comfort items, as well as sleeping bags or blankets.

Please visit here to download an emergency kit checklist.

Consider Those with Access and Functional Needs Residents with family or household members who are part of a vulnerable population should take special care to consider their needs before an emergency.

This may include, but is not limited to:

  • people with disabilities;
  • people, who live in institutionalized settings;
  • elderly;
  • children;
  • people from diverse cultures;
  • people with limited English proficiency/non-English speakers;
  • people, who are transportation-disadvantaged.

Residents who are caregivers for those with enhanced needs should be mindful of additional items they will need, including:

  • extra eyeglasses and hearing aids;
  • battery chargers;
  • medicine;
  • oxygen;
  • insulin;
  • other medical supplies;
  • copies of important documents, including prescriptions, doctor’s orders and insurance information.

For more information about preparing for emergencies, please visit here.