Flu season has begun!
Are you protected?
About 5-20% of people in the United States get influenza each year
While vaccination remains the best line of defense against flu,
there are simple everyday preventive actions you can take
to help fight the spread of germs.
View and share the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's
list of actions to protect against the flu at
Other H1N1 information sites
Things to do this month
"Before snow, ice and severe winter weather hit the region,
it is important that you take the proper steps to ensure the safety
of your family and home,"
Understand the winter terminology used by weather forecasters:
1. Winter Storm Watch - Be alert, a storm is likely.
2. Winter Storm Warning - Take action, the storm is in or entering the area.
3. Blizzard Warning - Snow and strong winds combined will produce blinding snow,
near zero visibility, deep drifts, and life-threatening wind chill.
Seek refuge immediately.
4. Winter Weather Advisory - Winter weather conditions are expected to cause
significant inconveniences and may be hazardous, especially to motorists.
5. Frost/Freeze Warning - Below freezing temperatures are expected
and may cause damage to plants, crops or fruit trees.
* Ensure your Winter Emergency Supply Kit is stocked with supplies
to enable you to survive on your own for at least three to five days.
* There should be a first-aid kit, essential prescription medicines,
non-perishable foods (those that require no refrigeration)
such as canned goods, dried fruits and nuts), a manual can opener,
water (one gallon per person, per day), flashlights and extra batteries along with a
portable radio or NOAA Weather Radio, baby-care or pet supplies items,
extra blankets, sleeping bags and a fire extinguisher.
* Ensure that your Winter Emergency Car Kit is well stocked
to keep you and your vehicle safe.
* If a storm is coming that may bring power outages, fully charge your cell phone,
laptop, and any other devices in advance of a power outage.
Do not call 9-1-1 to report your power outage or to ask for information,
use 9-1-1 only for emergencies.
* Contact your utility company to report the outage and get restoration information.
Call 2-1-1 with other winter-related issues.
* Consider purchasing a solar-powered or hand crank charger.
If you own a car, purchase a car phone charger to enable
you to charge your phone
If you lose power at your home.
* Download the free ping4alert! app to your Smartphone to receive important weather
alerts and messages from MEMA. Easy instructions are available at
* Trim dead tree branches and limbs close to your home. Ice, snow and wind
can combine to snap limbs that can take down power lines
or damage your home.
* Clean gutters. Melting snow and ice can build up if gutters are clogged with debris.
When thawing begins, the water can back up under your roof and eaves causing
damage to walls and ceilings.
* Check your homeowner's insurance policy to ensure adequate coverage.
* Ensure that your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors are working correctly
and have fresh batteries. Check your outside fuel exhaust vents, making sure that they
are not obstructed by snow or ice. Never use cooking equipment intended for outside
use indoors as a heat source
or cooking device.
* Have your chimney flue checked for any buildup of creosote and cleaned
if necessary to lessen the risk of fire.
* Have sufficient heating fuel, as regular sources may be cut off. Have the option of
emergency heating equipment and fuel (a gas fireplace, wood burning stove or
fireplace) so you can safely keep at least one room livable.
Be sure the room is well ventilated.
* Make sure your home is properly insulated. Caulk and weather-strip doors
and windows to keep cold air out.
* Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside
to provide insulation.
* To keep pipes from freezing, wrap them in insulation or layers of newspapers,
covering the newspapers with plastic to keep out moisture.
Let faucets drip a little to avoid freezing.
Know how to safely shut off gas, electric power and water valves.
* If your water supply could be affected by a power outage (a well-water pump system),
be prepared to fill your bathtub and spare containers with water.
Water in the bathtub should be used for sanitation purposes only,
not as drinking water. Pouring a pail of water from the tub directly
into the bowl can flush a toilet.
* If pipes freeze, remove insulation, completely open all faucets and pour hot water over
the pipes, starting where they are most exposed to the cold.
A hand-held hair dryer, used with caution, also works well.
* If electric power is lost, do not 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 medication that requires
refrigeration, check with your pharmacist for guidance
on proper storage during an extended outage.
* Review the process for manually operating your electric garage door.
* Be a Good Neighbor. Check in on friends, family, and neighbors, particularly those
most susceptible to extreme temperatures and power outages such as seniors and
those with access and functional needs.
Alvin McMahon, a Somerset resident who is the director of the
Greater Fall River Medical Reserve Corps,
was asked to manage a shelter that was set up for some
of the people who were displaced from their homes because of
the recent tornado in the western part of the state.
For the complete news release
How you can prepare for disasters and public health emergencies.
American Medical Association. 2011
Download this important booklet
Yale New Haven Center for Emergency Preparedness and
Disaster Response Preparedness Report.
The Preparedness Report is a digest of informational links
that contain current news clips,
press releases and new information from a variety of sources
on the subject of emergency preparedness
and disaster response
that we believe may be of value to you.
Yale Preparedness Reports Archive
IS-22 Are You Ready?
An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness
The "Are You Ready?
An In-Depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness"
Program has been designed to help the citizens of this nation
learn how to protect themselves and their families against all types
of hazards. It can be used as a reference source
or as a step-by-step manual.
The focus of the content is on how to develop, practice, and maintain emergency plans
that reflect what must be done before,
during, and after a disaster.
How to protect people and their property. Included is
information on how to assemble a disaster supplies kit
which contains the food, water, and other supplies in sufficient quantity
for individuals and their families to survive.
Now ON Line