September is Emergency Preparedness Month: Are You Ready for Anything?

September is Emergency Preparedness Month: Are You Ready for Anything?

By Natalie Hildt Treat, Executive Director of C-10

Many of us in the Chamber are small-business owners. As jacks of all trades, planning and preparedness are central to our job descriptions. We manage staff and budgets, keep projects and communication flowing, and make sure we don’t run out of supplies. After all, down-time means lost productivity and lost revenue.

But once in awhile, life throws us a curveball. Disasters happen—sometimes natural, and sometimes manmade. I’ll never forget the feeling of helplessness and eventually panic that set in last October when a freak storm knocked out power for multiple days, and the region was hit by a similar experience with severe weather in March.

We scrambled to figure out how long we’d be down, how to keep food from spoiling, and how to stay warm (or take a warm shower)—never mind frustration at not being online for work, and sometimes spotty cell service.

September is National Emergency Preparedness Month

With hurricane season upon us, now is a good time to consider what we would need, and need to do, in the unlikely event of an emergency like coastal flooding, a pandemic, or even a nuclear accident. As business people, we need to think not only of preparing our homes and families, but also the kinds of backup needed to keep things running, or get back open ASAP—even if employees can’t be at work.

Living Near Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant

Approximately 160,000 of us live within the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone of Seabrook Station nuclear power plant, and hundreds of thousands more in the plant’s 50-mile ingestion pathway. While nuclear plants are highly regulated, the possibility of an accident is always there.

This doesn’t mean that we would “die instantly” (as some think or wish), but it could mean that we’d need to shelter in place, leave our homes and businesses indefinitely, or face serious health consequences depending on the level of exposure to harmful radiation.

Of all the possible types of disasters, this is one of the hardest to think about. I run a local nonprofit called C-10, and we operate a radiological monitoring network for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. So it’s my job to think about safety at Seabrook. But it’s important for all of us to be concerned with what it means to live near a nuclear plant. So what can you do? Get educated, and get prepared.

We’ve compiled resources and information about living near Seabrook at C-10.org. Included are links to state and federal websites like Ready.gov, which has specific guidance for surviving a nuclear accident. It’s also a good idea to review the Emergency Public Information Calendar the state sent to you, since it contains information on what to do in the event of an emergency order to evacuate or “shelter in place.” You can also download the Massachusetts Alerts Smartphone App. Want to learn more? Join us on Sept. 27:

 

Living & Working  Near Seabrook: An Info Session with C-10

Thursday, September 27 from 7-8 PM
C-10 Research & Education Foundation
44 Merrimac St., Ground Floor, Newburyport, MA
RSVP requested: natalie@c-10.org or 978-465-6646

38R Merrimac Street, Newburyport MA 01950
Phone: 978-462-6680
Fax: 978-465-4145
info@newburyportchamber.org