Preparing For Irene

Some locals hunker down for impending storm.

The storm is coming, and in typical New England fashion, some people are stocking up on the essentials to get them through the potentially rough weekend, while others are just going about business as usual.

At , Scott Vanderhoof said he is seeing the same influx of customers he is used to seeing whenever a severe weather event is predicted. By midday today, a couple local merchants had already run out of batteries and were sending customers to Vanderhoof's, where shelves were still full.

"We've been around long enough to know how this happens," Vanderhoof said.

In preparation for Irene, Vanderhoof said he had an extra truckload of emergency supplies such as flashlights, batteries, lanterns, Sterno and portable stoves, and candles delivered to the store last night.

"We've seen the storms," Vanderhoof said. "We know what to expect."

Vanderhoof said the most popular item so far today has been D-batteries, though his biggest suggestions to customers have been duct tape, in case of broken windows, and a hand-crank can opener to use if the power goes out during the storm. Being the fourth generation of his family in the hardware business, Vanderhoof has plenty of tips for safely riding out a severe storm.

In addition to the standard emergency kit, Vanderhoof advised people to fill their bathtubs with water to use for toilet flushing if necessary, and for homeowners to survey their property today and remove or secure down lawn furniture and anything else that could be tossed in a strong wind.

Across town, at the , things were slow going in the early afternoon, with bottled water being the primary item shoppers were looking for at that store. The Supermarket's Paul Mandrioli said he was expecting a bigger rush of customers later in the day, when most people got out of work.

In the past, Mandrioli said the volume of customers has typically been greater before an impending storm.

"I think people are really not that freaked out about it," he said. "Maybe they're shopping a little heavier on the basics, but I haven't seen any trends at all."

Earlier this morning, issued and an advisory to residents, urging them to make emergency plans before the storm hits on Sunday.

"As Hurricane Irene approaches, the Continental United States and the Town of Concord is in Preparation for potentially severe weather," Cotreau said. "Intense sustained wind, bulk precipitation including flash flood conditions, and thunder storm activity are all potential adverse conditions encountered in hurricanes.

"Staying informed during a Severe Weather Advisory is vital for potential changes and updates during storms," Cotreau continued. "The Town of Concord urges all to educate yourself, family, and friends about Hurricane Preparedness. Carefully monitor the media and promptly follow instructions from public safety officials as the storm approaches."

According to the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, people in the storm's path should anticipate all kinds of scenarios, and remember to keep pets, neighbors, and older or disabled individuals who may need assistance in preparing, in mind during hazardous weather situations.

People are encouraged to make plans with a friend or relative outside of the storm area to be a point of contact for all family members in case of separation. Anyone needing the assistance of a service animal is advised to keep a picture of themselves with the animal readily available in case they too are separated.

Instructions on how to put together an emergency kit, and how to prepare your family and your home for a severe storm can be found here, from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

Additional information on emergency measures, any shelter locations, and other pertinent information will be added as it becomes available. Follow Patch this weekend for continued coverage of Hurricane Irene. The Town of Concord's website and the National Weather Service will feature updates as well.


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