AUBURN, Mass. – With a hurricane/tropical storm/nor’easter/perfect storm heading up the coast, the town of Auburn’s Emergency Management department is getting ready days before potential landfall.
“We’re going over the emergency plan to make sure everything’s in place,” said Roger Belhumeur, the town’s emergency management director. “We’re going to make sure the trucks are all fueled, the generators have all been tested for our EOC [emergency operations center] and we’re going to discuss which shelters we would open up first and get them ready.
“Auburn’s in good shape for emergency response,” Belhumeur said. “The town has always been in good shape, especially with the town’s great leadership and department heads.”
The emergency operations center in Town Hall is brand new, with up-to-date technology to deal with emergencies, such as this potential “nor’easter on steroids,” he said. The center has TVs, smart boards and programs to track where trees are down.
“The town of Auburn maintains an independent emergency operations center that is activated during an emergency and serves as the command and control center,” according to a town press release. “During an emergency, all town departments heads, communications staff and local government officials gather at the EOC to manage and coordinate resources and assets necessary to mitigate an incident.”
Belhumeur said the town will be communicating with residents via CodeRED alerts and on the town’s local cable access channel.
If people are not signed up to Code Red, then now is the perfect time. CodeRED is a new emergency notification service by which town officials can notify Auburn residents and businesses by telephone, cell phone, text message or email about time-sensitive emergency situations.
Examples of messages regarding the safety or welfare of the community using the CodeRED system include severe weather warnings and updates, hazardous traffic or road conditions inside the town or affecting local routes and other situations that could affect the safety, property or welfare of citizens.
To register for CodeRED, visit the town’s website. It will say CodeRED on the front page; follow the instructions to register.
But the town hopes it won’t have to send out CodeRED alerts this week.
“We’re keeping our fingers crossed that we don’t get anything, but we’re ready if it happens,” Belhumeur said.
He said that now is the time for residents to make sure they have plenty of water, food, batteries and flashlights. “Get all the standard things for an emergency,” he said.
The town of Auburn also wants residents to follow these safety tips as the storm approaches.
Keep checking back with the Auburn Daily Voice for updates on the storm track and preparations.