Wednesday, September 16, 2015
MEMA ENCOURAGES FAMILIES TO ‘MAKE A PLAN’ AS PART OF MASSACHUSETTS EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS MONTH
FRAMINGHAM, MA – As part of Massachusetts Emergency Preparedness Month, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) urges families to ‘Make a Plan’.
“It is important to develop a Family Emergency Plan that outlines what you will do, how you will find each other, and how you will communicate in an emergency or disaster” states MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz. “Taking the time to develop and practice your Family Emergency Plan before the next disaster can keep you and your family safe, protect your property, and build your community’s resilience.”
A Family Emergency plan should:
Include an Emergency Contact
Ask an out-of-state friend or relative to serve as your family’s emergency contact. After a disaster, it is sometimes easier to call long distance to unaffected areas.
Provide every family member with the name, address, and phone number of the emergency contact and make sure each family member has a cellphone or a prepaid phone card.
Inform your emergency contact of any family member’s special needs or medical issues.
List emergency contacts in cellphones as “ICE” (in case of emergency), which will make it easier for emergency personnel to contact the right person.
Use alternate communications methods:
Show all family members how to text message, as it may be easier to send a text than make a call during an emergency.
Learn how to use social media. Social media can be an effective tool to let friends and family know your location and status.
Keep the American Red Cross Safe and Well service in mind. Use it to register yourself as “safe and well” or search for loved ones after a disaster.
Establish Meeting Locations
Select two family meeting locations: choose one location close to home and another farther away, in case you need to evacuate or cannot return to the area.
Provide Evacuation Information
Identify and practice how you will exit your home.
Establish possible evacuation routes to ensure you are able to get to designated meeting locations. Talk to your local emergency management agency to learn about evacuation routes.
Identify available modes of transportation.
Make arrangements with family, neighbors, friends, or local government if you don’t have personal transportation.
If you need assistance, contact local public safety officials to make them aware of your needs.
Include Instructions for Sheltering In Place
Designate safe room(s) within your home. These rooms should have:
As few windows or doors as possible.
Access to television, radio and telephones.
Ensure you have necessary supplies and can access your emergency kit.
If you receive medical treatments or home healthcare services, work with your medical provider to identify options if you are unable to leave your home for a period of time.
Review tips to safely shelter in place.
Plan for everyone in your household including individuals with access and functional needs, seniors, children, and pets.
Don’t forget to practice your plan with your household!
MEMA is the state agency charged with ensuring the state is prepared to withstand, respond to, and recover from all types of emergencies and disasters, including natural hazards, accidents, deliberate attacks, and technological and infrastructure failures. MEMA's staff of professional planners, communications specialists and operations and support personnel is committed to an all hazards approach to emergency management. By building and sustaining effective partnerships with federal, state and local government agencies, and with the private sector - individuals, families, non-profits and businesses - MEMA ensures the Commonwealth's ability to rapidly recover from large and small disasters by assessing and mitigating threats and hazards, enhancing preparedness, ensuring effective response, and strengthening our capacity to rebuild and recover. For additional information about MEMA and Emergency Preparedness, go to www.mass.gov/mema.
Continue to follow MEMA updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MassEMA; Facebook at www.facebook.com/MassachusettsEMA; YouTube at www.youtube.com/MassachusettsEMA.
Massachusetts Alerts: to receive emergency information on your smartphone, including severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service and emergency information from MEMA, download the Massachusetts Alerts free app. To learn more about Massachusetts Alerts, and for information on how to download the free app onto your smartphone, visit: www.mass.gov/mema/mobileapp.
Friday, August 7, 2015
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Thursday, January 8, 2015
During this holiday season National Grid and local police departments received an increasing
number of calls from customers being targeted by billing scam artists and impersonators trying to gain
access to account information and entry to National Grid customers’ homes. The bill scams mirror
reports received by utility companies throughout the country where the scammers are demanding
immediate payment for electricity and natural gas bill balances and threatening immediate service shutoff
if payments are not received within an hour or two. If the customer has made a payment, the caller
will say that the payment has not been received and an immediate payment must be made. For the
most part the scammers are demanding that the customer secure a pre-paid debit card and provide the
account number to the scammer who then redeems the card.
National Grid does contact customers with past due balances by phone to offer payment
options. Direct payment is an option but direct payment is never demanded as a prerequisite for
continued service. If customers wish, they can arrange for a payment by check, credit card or debit
card if they speak directly to a customer service representative. Payment can also be made by credit
card or debit card without a representative’s assistance. National Grid does not accept pre-paid debit
cards for payment and would never ask a customer to acquire one of these cards to make a bill
The callers have shown to be adept at extracting account information from unsuspecting
customers and they use sophisticated telephone technology to convince customers they are actually
calling from National Grid.
Ask Questions/Demand Proper ID
In addition to the on-going fraudulent bill collection calls, there have been recurring reports of
individuals going door-to-door, identifying themselves as employees of National Grid and demanding to
see the customer’s electricity or natural gas bills. In other instances, people claiming to be a utility
company employee have been able to gain entry to a home by telling the customer they must inspect
their meter, which is usually located in the customer’s basement. When the customer accompanies the
impersonator into the basement, an accomplice enters the home and removes items of value without
the customer knowing it.
NATIONAL GRID WARNS CUSTOMERS TO GUARD THEMSELVES
AND SENSITIVE ACCOUNT INFORMATION
Reports of Home Invasions, Billing Scams and Employee Impersonators Increased
During The Holiday SeasonIn all instances when customers come in contact with any individual claiming to represent
National Grid, they should verify their identity before divulging account information, making a bill
payment or allowing access to their home. If a customer has any concerns about the nature of the
contact they should call National Grid’s Customer Contact Center immediately to clarify billing issues
and confirm the identity of the person trying to secure account information or gain entry to the home.
In New England, customers can reach the Center at 1-800-322-3223.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
The Wrentham Police Department is pleased to announce the graduation of Officer Peter Lown from the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) training held December 1-12 at the New Hampshire Fire Academy in Concord, NH.
Officer Lown completed the two week, 80 hour certification course to become one of Wrentham's newest D.A.R.E. instructors. With the graduation of Officer Lown, he will join Sergeant Jeffrey Smith and Officer Todd Schwalbe providing the program to the local school district.
D.A.R.E. is a community based, nation wide program which partners police, schools and parents to educate students about the abuse of drugs, violence and the importance of good decision making.