Barnstable County Emergency Officials Prepared in Wake of Major Storms

BARNSTABLE – As hurricane season rages on with Irma about to make landfall in the U.S., Barnstable County emergency officials say they are prepared to handle major storms.

Public information officer with the Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee Kevin Morley said staff was re-familiarized with the six shelters on Cape Cod this summer and storage containers with all necessary equipment to stage a shelter are ready for deployment when needed.

“We’re as prepared as we can be,” Morley said.

The Mult-Agency Coordination Center, which is operated by the Barnstable County All-Hazards Incident Management Team, is also set up as an overall supervisor for resources on the Cape for a disaster with a direct line to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

“If we run out of anything down here then we have our state partners ready to go and of course they have their federal partners,” Morley said. “So we have a pretty tight system to ensure continuity of services in times of disaster.”

Even though there is no current threat of storms for the region, Morley said it is a good time for residents to make sure they are prepared.

Morley said the first thing the public should do is keep informed on the weather, which is usually not hard to find online, on television or the radio.

“Make sure that the information people are getting is from a reputable source,” he said.

During this time of year, Morley recommends checking the National Hurricane Center.

Morley said residents also need to prepare their homes to stay during a storm, but also be ready if leaving for a shelter is required.

Those choosing to shelter in place during a major storm should have bottled water, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food, batteries, flashlight and radio.

Individuals and families living by the coast in a tidal surge area should also have a go kit ready.

“That would be a 72 hour or three-day supply of whatever you would need to be comfortable,” Morley said.

The regional shelter system provides cots, blankets, pillows, food and water.

“If you are going to shelter in place, be ready for a three-day, at least, stay at home and if you are thinking about going to a shelter, once again, pack as if you are going on a three-day trip.”

When the regional shelter system is activated shelters are operated at Barnstable Intermediate School in Hyannis, Cape Cod Regional Technical High School in Harwich, Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School in South Yarmouth, Falmouth High School, Nauset Regional High School in Eastham and Sandwich High School.

Nantucket High School is also a shelter for those on the island.


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