LEPC Notice: Preparing for the upcoming winter

Notice from the LEPC
We experienced two dramatically different winters last year.  During December and January Milton experienced very little precipitation.  The days were mainly sunny and we were looking at having a second green winter.  Then February and March hit us with a fury.  The town experienced multiple heavy snowstorms.  There were many power outages and school was cancelled on a few different days.
What should residents do this year?  Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.  The following is a list of things that you should expect to happen and what you should do to handle these events.
The first thing – we will experience snowstorms and we should expect to have power outages.   Plan on having an emergency kit available.  The items in this kit should be but are not limited to batteries, portable radio, non perishable food, water, manual can opener, extra blankets, first aid kit, flashlight, essential medications and warm clothing; do not forget about supplies for your pets.   NSTAR has a new phone number for people to call with power outages.  NSTAR strongly recommends that residents call 1-800-592-2000 to report power outages.  They strongly recommend not calling police to report outages.  Calling from your home will give them the information that only you will be able to supply whether it is just one home in the area without power or multiple homes in a neighborhood.  You also have the ability to track the response time and repair time.  Check out the NSTAR website at www.NSTAR.com and go to the storm center drop down menu.
Second thing – the safest place during a storm is your home.  After you make it home from work or school stay inside.  Avoid traveling during the storm.  Let the plows, sanders and employees of our Department of Public Works do their jobs.  The less traffic on the roadways the better.  This includes foot traffic.
Third thing – be a good neighbor.  Check with elderly neighbors or neighbors that may need additional assistance to ensure that they have made adequate preparations.  If you live in a complex try setting up some sort of system to check in on each tenant in the complex.  Don’t forget about relatives that live alone
Fourth thing – Regional shelters are set up during large scale weather events.   These shelters are run by the Red Cross.  The Town of Milton does have the capability and resources to set up our own shelter and to evacuate people if need be.   We will activate our Local Emergency Planning Committee if our Town Shelter needs to be opened.  Please remember that the safest place to ride out a storm or power outage is still in your own residence.
Lastly – COMMON SENSE  needs to be followed during weather related emergencies.   Information can be found on the Massachusetts Emergency Management website at www.mass.gov/mema and type in WINTER STORMS in the search box for more information on handling this upcoming winter.
Sincerely,
Sergeant Chuck Caputo
Milton Police
Chairperson, Milton LEPC