NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. — Northbridge Emergency Management Agency volunteers gathered in NEMA headquarters on Hope Street on Friday afternoon to discuss how best to stay ahead of problems from Hurricane Sandy.
"Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency wants to make sure we have all our bells and whistles in place,'' NEMA volunteer Richard West said.
As of Friday afternoon, the eye of that storm was on track to hit New Jersey on Monday. It will bring rain and strong winds, but the strongest winds would be on the coast, not inland, he said.
But if Sandy jogs just a little closer to Massachusetts, that will be mean a far different story for the inland areas of the state.
Residents should stock up on necessities such as water and batteries and bring in "anything that can fly around,'' West said.
NEMA officials are on alert and an emergency shelter will be opened if necessary, he said.
The town has posted on its website information residents should know and things they should do when a storm approaches.
Things that you can do to prepare:
• Check your emergency supplies, including flashlights, batteries and medicines.
• Keep drainage basins clear of leaves and debris.
• Remove or secure loose items, such as lawn furniture, on your property. These objects may become projectiles in high winds.
• Use generators safely. Never operate within a building.
• Stay away from downed power lines.
• Turn your refrigerator and freezer to coldest setting.
• Be aware of tree limbs and branches that may fall down.
• If you have medical equipment that requires power, consider alternate arrangements.
• Check on your neighbors and the elderly.
• Have your pet supplies, including collar, leash, ID, food, carrier and bowl, ready in the event you need to evacuate.
Residents without water because of a power outage or flooded well may take containers to be filled at the Whitinsville Fire Station.
The town will update its weather advisory information as needed.
Other helpful sites for storm information include:
• American Red Cross Hurricane Safety Checklist
To receive automated emergency announcements, sign up for Code Red through the town’s website or contact the Northbridge Police Department at 508-234-6211 to sign up.
Check back with the Northbridge Daily Voice for storm updates.