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- Emergency Preparedness
The new Quarterly, Low Season, Peak Season Population Analysis is Here.
“From baseline impressions and conversations with the town staff during the analysis stage, it was made to seem that the year-round population was small and was always dwarfed by vacationers; that during the low season, the town is essentially dormant. While in the grand scheme, many of these estimated values may be overestimations of true values, it’s clear to see that the full effective population of Provincetown consists of more than its permanent residents. Though the effective population’s fluctuations are much easier to perceive in the peak season and summertime, there are still detectable fluctuations that occur even in on the slower days of the year."
Ivanna Rocha, Discussion and Recommendations 2021
It is clear that our little village is vibrant and lively even when the streets appear empty. This report explains the data assembled to analyze the movement of people day and night or by day and quarter. Health Director Morgan Clark had contracted with her in December 2020 to perform this analysis as it had become clear during the pandemic that we needed a more accurate picture of our peak population so we could better plan for emergencies. We need to know how many people are here to plan for adequate food, shelter, or emergency dispensing or vaccination. It doesn’t hurt for making cases to the state that our community is much larger than the census population, which is what the state uses to allocate federal grant money. Ms. Rocha has a Master’s degree in public health from BU.
What do I do in an emergency?!
Emergency Preparedness is an essential component in our work to mitigate the impact of, and recover from, natural hazards and human-made incidents that threaten the lives, property, and environment of our citizens. Provincetown’s Emergency Management efforts are integrated and coordinated with agencies across local, county, state, and federal jurisdictions. But resilient communities are safer communities, and resilience starts at home amongst our families, loved ones, and neighbors. So what can we do to prepare for known and unknown crises? Here are All-Hazards actions you can take to participate in our Whole Community Approach to Emergency Preparedness:
- sign up HERE to receive local emergency alerts by voice, text, or email; follow Town Hall, the Police Department, Health Department, and the Department of Public Works on Facebook for additional updates.
- stock and store an Emergency Supplies Kit for your home with basic items to last 72 hours.
- prep a “Go Bag” in the event of an evacuation or shelter situation; remember to pack pet supplies, medications, and important documents or photocopies.
- be an active bystander; train, volunteer, donate to local services and non-profit organizations.
But most importantly, have a plan. Make a list of 10 people you love—friends, family, neighbors, and work together to address your individual needs in case of an emergency; contact information, vehicle or transport access, how to secure private property against inclement weather.
SO HOW DO I…
...Protect myself from the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Agencies across the globe are monitoring the spread of infection closely and working together to respond to the virus. Provincetown continues to coordinate prevention and response initiatives with area healthcare providers and state health officials. As our understanding and containment strategies for COVID-19 develop, we will be able to provide the public with more information. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) offers these health safety and prevention tips. Massachusetts provides updates on regional conditions and you can sign up for text alerts HERE. Our local Health Department has created this page with essential information, as well.
…Know what’s happening?
Emergency alerts are issued by voice call, text, and email through Civic Ready our public alert system. When possible, alerts will also be issued on the Town Hall FaceBook page, WOMR radio, Provincetown Community Televison, and the Council on Aging.
...Learn about our shelters?
The Public Library (356 Commercial St.) and Town Hall (260 Commercial St) are equipped to provide short-term relief during an emergency, such as warming, cooling or device charging. We have an Emergency Shelter Plan in place for the Veteran’s Memorial Community Center (2 Mayflower St.) for larger incidents and events. These options should be considered a last resort. You should be prepared to shelter in place for at least 24 hours. Shelter status notifications will be issued across all available communications channels. Please check the Town of Provincetown Website for official information regarding shelters in the event they are activated.
…Receive individual assistance?
Residents with access and functional needs or those in households who might require individual assistance during an emergency evacuation can submit a Special Assistance Information Form. This information will help First Responders plan ahead for your care in the event of an emergency.
When facing heavy rainfall and potential flooding, the Department of Public Works may offer empty bags and sand at the Highway Garage (24 Race Point Rd.) Provincetown Residents are limited to 10 bags per household, and must fill the bags on site themselves.
…Prepare for cold weather?
MEMA urges residents to take precautions during the extreme cold weather and to minimize outside activities. Protect yourself and yours from the winter cold with these safety tips.
…Safeguard my property against our weather and the flooding?
With our distinct location at the end of the arm, Provincetown is subject to a variety of natural hazards; including, but not limited to, hurricanes and nor’easters, flooding, storm surge, high winds, and blizzards. Steeling your home against the weather protects your neighbors’ homes, as well. Folks who are not in town year-round or those travelling for extended periods are encouraged to identify a local emergency contact who is able to look after your property in your absence. The following are useful resources to mitigate the impact of inclement weather on your homes and property:
- Massachusetts Homeowner’s Handbook to Prepare For Coastal Hazards- Woods Hole Sea Grant
- Guidelines on Flood Adaptation for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings- National Park Service
- StormSmart Properties Fact Sheets- erosion control, seawalls, sand fencing, and more
- The National Flood Insurance Program- FEMA rules and regulations
...prepare for hurricanes?
The Atlantic Hurricane season typically runs from June through November, though major storms are more prevalent August through October. Hurricanes are more prevalent during August, September, and October, with the month of September being the time when the largest number occur. Here are some helpful resources to prepare for severe weather events.
- Hurricane Safety Tips - from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA)
- How to Prepare for a Hurricane - National guidelines from FEMA
- Pet Safety During a Hurricane (PDF)
- Hurricane Category Listings (PDF) - Know the severity of potential hurricane warnings
- Hurricane Preparedness Information (PDF)
- Safety Precautions and Safety Measures (PDF) - For when hurricane warnings are posted for the Cape area
- Storm Surge Safety Information (PDF)
Local Emergency Preparedness Committee (LEPC)
The goal of the Local Emergency Preparedness Committee (LEPC) is to develop and implement comprehensive response plans that are effective and efficient in addressing human and/or natural threats to the public health and safety of the Provincetown community. Read the complete mission and goals (PDF) of the LEPC.