Risk Alerts

A Risk Alert is service designed to provide notice of a topic of concern or high risk to the facility, its operations or its people. Periodically, a Risk Alert or other communication is issued to our participants as a warning or reminder of a potential or imminent hazard. The goal is to educate and inform as well as provide useful and proactive measures to help you maintain your property and continue to provide a safe environment.

Please pay close attention to these alerts and distribute them to your staff so that they may implement the recommended actions. Your feedback on these communications is also helpful in improving this service and evaluating its impact.

 

Nor'easter

A Nor’easter is a storm along the East Coast of North America, so called because the winds over the coastal area are typically from the northeast. These storms may occur at any time of year but are most frequent and most violent between September and April. Some well known Nor’easters include the New England Blizzard of February 1978 and the Boston snowstorms of January and February 2015. Past Nor’easters have been responsible for billions of dollars in damage, severe economic, transportation and human disruption, and in some cases, disastrous coastal flooding. Damage from the worst storms can exceed a billion dollars.

Precautions

  • Check to see if sump pumps are working, and advise custodians to check all drains, grates and basins to ensure they are free of leaves and debris.
  • Closely monitor NOAA weather radio or other local news outlets for official storm information and changes to the forecast.
  • Some trees in our area may be more susceptible to wind damage due to stress from drought conditions. Immediately inspect trees and bushes. Remove dead or rotting branches that could fall and cause injury or damage.
  • Be prepared for potential power outages as a result of downed power lines caused by storm activity. Have an emergency supply kit on hand, including water, flashlight, extra batteries, a first aid kit and non-perishable food.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage to people/property.

Property Damage
If you experience property damage, immediately call the Office of Risk Management at 617-746-5743. For a list of service vendors, go to: https://rcabrisk.org/vendor

 

Tornadoes Watches and Warnings

Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms, with whirling winds that can reach 300 mph. Spawned from powerful thunderstorms, damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. Massachusetts residents have recently experienced the destruction of the Greater Springfield Tornado in June 1, 2011 which killed three, injured over 300 and destroyed or damaged over 1,400 homes and businesses. The infamous Worcester Tornado, which swept through Central Massachusetts in June 9, 1953, killed 94, seriously injured over 1,200 and over 4,300 homes and businesses destroyed or damaged.

Although tornadoes as severe as the Springfield and Worcester tornadoes are rare, they can and do happen here in Massachusetts. It is important that everyone familiarize themselves with what to look for and what steps to take if a tornado is forecast.

Tornado watches are issued for broad areas where conditions exist for the development of twisters, while tornado warnings are issued for highly localized areas where a tornado is imminent or has been detected on radar

Precautions

  • Have custodians check drains, grates and basins to ensure they are free of leaves and debris.
  • Check to see if sump pumps are working.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage to people or property.
  • Remove dead or rotting branches that could fall and cause injury or damage.
  • Shutter windows. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades or curtains.
  • Unplug appliances and other electrical items such as computers and turn off air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.
  • Use a battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio for updates from local officials.

If outdoors, avoid the following:

  • Natural lightning rods, such as tall, isolated trees in an open area.
  • Hilltops, open fields, the beach, or a boat on the water.
  • Isolated sheds or other small structures in open areas.
  • Anything metal, such as lawn mowers, motorcycles, golf clubs and bicycles.

After the storm, be sure to inspect basements and roofs for leaks and flooding. In addition, inspect the grounds for weak or damaged tree limbs and have these removed immediately.

Property Damage

Property damage caused by lightning, including damage caused to electrical appliances and wiring, is covered under the property and insurance program. If you experienced a lightning strike that caused damage, contact the Claims Manager immediately at 617-746-5743. If you have any questions, please call the Office of Risk Management at 617-746-5742.

 

Blizzards

A Blizzard Warning means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Falling and blowing snow with strong winds and poor visibilities are likely. This will lead to whiteout

conditions, making travel extremely dangerous. Do not travel. If you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you.  If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle.

  • Closely monitor NOAA weather radio or other local news outlets for official storm information and changes to the forecast.
  • Some trees in our area may be more susceptible to wind damage due to stress from drought conditions. Immediately inspect trees and bushes. Remove dead or rotting branches that could fall and cause injury or damage.
  • Be prepared for potential power outages as a result of downed power lines caused by storm activity. Have an emergency supply kit on hand, including water, flashlight, extra batteries, a first aid kit and non-perishable food.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage to people/property.

Roofs

If not cleared off, snow accumulations will add weight and stress to structures and contribute to leaky roofs once the snow begins to thaw. In many cases, roof ice dams can form, causing water build-up leading to interior damage. To minimize the risk of over-stressing a building roof due to accumulated or drifting snow, please take into consideration the following tips:

  • If roof snow can be removed from the ground with the use of a snow rake (available at most hardware stores), do so. Use caution, as metal snow rakes conduct electricity if they come into contact with a power line.
  • Try to avoid working from ladders, as ladder rungs tend to ice up. Snow and ice collect on boot soles and metal ladders.
  • Remove snow in layers uniformly across the roof to prevent unbalanced loads that might cause collapse. Avoid making snow piles on the roof during the removal process.
  • Large icicles can form on roof overhangs, but do not necessarily mean ice damming is occurring. Icicles overhanging doorways and walkways can be dangerous and should be carefully removed.
  • Use care with snow removal equipment (shovels, ice spaces, snow blowers) to prevent roof cover damage. It is not necessary to clean completely down to the roof surface as long as melting snow and water can freely flow to the drains.
  • Because snow is heavy and roofs and other surfaces may be slippery, all of the abovementioned actions should only be performed by able-bodied adults. Protective headgear and eye protection is recommended.

 Property Damage
If you experience property damage, immediately call the Office of Risk Management at 617-746-5743. For a list of service vendors, go to: https://rcabrisk.org/vendors