In anticipation of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season, Unitil Corporation, a provider of natural gas and electricity to customers throughout New England, and the American Red Cross (ARC) are advising local residents to prepare in advance to protect their homes and families from severe storms.
“Preparing for these potential storms and outcomes is critical in moving beyond disaster once it strikes,” said Maria White, Chief Executive Officer, NH Region. “Whether it’s offering emotional support to someone struggling with trauma, offering much needed financial support for immediate emergency sheltering, food or clothing, the American Red Cross will be there helping the New Hampshire community prepare, prevent and respond.”
The 2012 Atlantic Hurricane season will begin on June 1 and will last until the end of November. With strong winds and heavy rains, hurricanes have the potential to present a major threat to communities. Flooding, structural damage to homes, storm surges and power outages are all possible should a hurricane or tropical storm make landfall anywhere in New England.
After a hurricane hits, the American Red Cross will provide shelter, food, relief supplies and emotional support to anyone affected by the storm, and utilities like Unitil will work around the clock to restore power to customers. The American Red Cross and Unitil encourage everyone to get prepared before the season begins, in order to be ready should one of these devastating storms come our way.
Be sure to have some of the following items on hand:
- Water—at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person, per day
- Food—at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit, Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
- Cell phone with charger
If a hurricane or tropical storm is forecasted for the region, take the following steps:
- Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS) and watch for updates from Unitil or your local utility
- Check your disaster supplies and replace or restock as needed
- Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture, etc.)
- Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters - if you do not have hurricane shutters, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood
- Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and keep them closed as much as possible so that food will last longer if the power goes out
- Evacuate if advised by authorities - be careful to avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges
“Unitil strives to be a premier emergency response organization, and we work diligently to ensure we are ready should a hurricane hit,” Carol Valianti, Unitil VP of Communications and Public Affairs said. “We urge our local customers to make sure they are also ‘Red Cross Ready’ by preparing ahead and having a hurricane plan at home.”
Additional recommended items and preparation actions are available at www.redcross.org. Outage updates for customers and information on how Unitil restores power is available at www.Unitil.com.