The Massachusetts Conference Disaster Resource Team is urging individuals and congregations to make preparations for the arrival of Hurricane Irene. The team sent the following email out on Friday, August 26:
A message from your Massachusetts Conference UCC Disaster Resource Team
No doubt you are all aware that Hurricane Irene is heading in our direction. Right now Irene is a very powerful hurricane, but will possibly weaken some as it moves up the coast. Still, the track is far from certain. And there is no doubt that we will have heavy winds and torrential rains no matter what track Irene follows. This remains a dangerous situation for all of southern New England. We face the potential for flooding rains, a coastal storm surge, wind damage to property, power outages and a slight chance or tornadic activity.
- Please keep an eye on weather updates. The path of the storm will make a huge difference in its impact zone.
- Please be careful for your own personal safety and the safety of your family!
- Please check in on elderly and infirm people in your area and congregation who may need special assistance.
- It would be a good idea to check around your homes and churches to remove items that might become missiles in high wind. Are your gutters and downspouts ready to handle the heavy rain?
- Check to be sure you have the supplies you need, in the event you need to move from your home to some other shelter.
- The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency website offers some preparedness information:
- FEMA also provides some checklists for preparedness: http://www.ready.gov/america/beinformed/hurricanes.html
- Be sure folks in the church are aware of the contact information for your church's insurance coverage.
- Your church may be called upon as a place of shelter during and immediately after the storm. Having folks ready to offer hospitality and food may be helpful.
- Beyond the immediate impact your church could be a critical facility to help coordinate and house recovery efforts. Stay attentive to ways in which your community may look to you for spiritual and practical support.