Preparing for an Emergency

A guide to preparing you and your family for an emergency 

1. Get Informed

What type of disasters are likely to occur in Bourne?
Bourne’s Pre-Disaster Hazard Mitigation Plan identified a number of natural and manmade events that could occur and that you should prepare for.  Some of those hazards are:

Flooding; caused by coastal storms, winter storms, nor’easters, or hurricanes.  Is your home or property in the flood inundation zone?

Wind damage; caused by hurricanes, nor’easters, or tornadoes. Damage to your home or business, extended loss of power, lack of access due to downed trees.

Fire; not just to structures but wildfires in forested lands surrounding many residential areas.

Geologic; earthquakes, landslides, or sink holes could cause damage to structures and loss of land.

Hazardous Materials: Are there businesses nearby that store or use hazardous chemicals?  Can you “shelter in place” if something occurs near you?

How will you be informed of an emergency?
In Bourne emergency notifications would be accomplished via reverse telephone messages to your home or cell phone. Announcements would be made via local radio stations WQRC 99.9 FM and WBZ 1030 AM.  If a complete power outage prevents these type of notifications, public safety vehicles would travel neighborhood streets making announcements via loudspeakers.

 2. Make a Plan
Meet with Your Family Members. Review the information you gathered about community hazards and plans. Explain the dangers to children and work with them as a team to prepare your family. Be sure to include caregivers in your meeting and planning efforts.

Choose an "Out-of-Town" Contact. Ask an out-of-town friend or relative to be your contact. Following a disaster, family members should call this person and tell them where they are. Everyone must know the contact's phone numbers. After a disaster, it is often easier to make a long distance call than a local call from a disaster area.

Decide Where to Meet. In the event of an emergency, you may become separated from family members. Choose a place right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, like a fire. Choose a location outside your neighborhood in case you can't return home.

Complete a Family Communication Plan. Your plan should include contact information for family members, work and school. Your plan should also include information for your out-of-town contact, meeting locations, and emergency services.  Teach your children how to call the emergency phone numbers and when it is appropriate to do so. Be sure each family member has a copy of your communication plan and post it near your telephone for use in an emergency

Plan for those with disabilities and other special needs. Keep support items in a designated place, so they can be found quickly. For those who have home-health caregivers, particularly for those who are bed-bound, it is essential to have an alternate plan if the home-health caregiver cannot make it to you..

Plan for your pets. Take your pets with you if you evacuate. However, be aware that pets (other than service animals) usually are not permitted in emergency public shelters for health reasons.


3.  Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit
In the event you need to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you, you probably will not have the opportunity to shop or search for the supplies you and your family will need. Every household should assemble a disaster supplies kit and keep it up to date.

A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items a family would probably need to stay safe and be more comfortable during and after a disaster. Disaster supplies kit items should be stored in a portable container(s) as close as possible to the exit door. Review the contents of your kit at least once per year or as your family needs change. Also, consider having emergency supplies in each vehicle and at your place of employment.

Basic Emergency Supply Kit List

  • Three-day supply of nonperishable food and manual can opener.
  • Three-day supply of water (one gallon of water per person, per day).
  • Portable, battery-powered radio or television and extra batteries.
  • Flashlight and extra batteries.
  • First aid kit and manual.
  • Sanitation and hygiene items (hand sanitizer, moist towelettes, and toilet paper).
  • Matches in waterproof container.
  • Whistle.
  • Extra clothing and blankets.
  • Kitchen accessories and cooking utensils.
  • Photocopies of identification and credit cards.
  • Cash and coins.
  • Special needs items such as prescription medications, eye glasses,  contact lens solution, and hearing aid    batteries.
  • Items for infants, such as formula, diapers, bottles, and pacifiers
  • Tools, pet supplies, a map of the local area, and other items to meet your unique family needs