Monday, September 27, 2010

How Assessed Values Can Help

Here's a great article that help you figure out your properties real value.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hurricane Earl Information

Martha's Vineyard Chamber of CommerceSeptember 2, 2010

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has asked us to communicate important information to you regarding Hurricane Earl.
Currently, Earl is a category 4 hurricane, trending on a course that, if it stays on the projected path, may pass approx 20 miles south east of Nantucket Friday evening. It is expected that the hurricane watch now in place will be upgraded to a hurricane warning later today.
Dangerous marine conditions are expected, including:
Very dangerous rip currents now through Sunday
10-15 foot seas on the coast, 20 foot+ just off coast, and 30+ foot seas in open waters

Right now, the expectation is that we will see heavy rain preceding the winds, likely starting tonight or tomorrow morning, through Saturday morning. The worst of the wind is anticipated early evening on Friday through the night. PLEASE NOTE: there is still plenty of time for this information to change, so please keep an eye on the local forecast for up to the minute information.

MEMA officials urged us not to panic, but to be prepared and take necessary precautions. Please see below a list of suggestions for small businesses.

MEMA officials have assured me that no evacuation plans are in place for the Cape and Islands at this time, but that boaters are strongly encouraged to securly moor their boats and swimmers are asked to use extreme caution. If winds reach 75 mph tomorrow evening, the Bourne and Sagamore bridges will be closed. Ferries will post updates with local media and on their websites.

MEMA is working with local officials to set up shelters and emergency supplies.
The most up to date information will be through the media. Please keep and eye on the forecast, and review the tips below to ensure your safety and the safety of your family and business. Additional information can be found on:
MEMA's Hurricane Tips for Business Owners
Review your property insurance with your insurance agent. Take photographs or make a video of your business establishment, both inside and outside.
Determine and establish a written Hurricane Preparedness Plan for your business and its contents. Coordinate this plan with local and state officials. Specify the conditions under which the plan will be implemented.
Test your plan, reviewing it annually. Establish an employee-training program on your Hurricane Plan.
Make plans for protection of your computer files, including an off-site back-up system to secure and safely store data.
Protect corporate records, keeping duplicates at an alternate location.
Well in advance, acquire emergency protective equipment and supplies. Heavy plastic sheeting, duct tape, sandbags, emergency generator, chain saw and large pieces of plywood will help protect your property.
Bring in display racks and other objects, such as trashcans that might cause damage if airborne. Remove outdoor signs, especially those that swing or are portable.
Move merchandise, equipment or furniture away from windows or skylights. Elevate boxes or equipment, if possible.
Turn off electricity and disconnect all electrical appliances and equipment (except for refrigeration equipment), in case there is a power outage. An ensuing power surge could be damaging to connected equipment.
Inform all employees on when and how you will notify them to report back to work.
Develop an employee identification system, such as picture ID badges. This may help employees gain access to the area after a hurricane.
If possible, make arrangements to pay employees in cash. It may be several days before banking institutions are operational.
© 2010 Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Hurricane Preparedness Tips

Family Hurricane Preparedness Tips
As we enter the 2010 Hurricane Season, which experts are predicting to be very active, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is offering personal preparedness tips for the all of the citizens of the Commonwealth.
"Every home and business should have a stocked basic emergency supply kit that could be used for any emergency, regardless of the time of year," states MEMA Acting Director Kurt Schwartz. "Everyone should keep certain items around the house and workplace in the event you are isolated for three to five days without power"
Each kit will be unique to each family, but should include a portable radio, flashlight, extra batteries, a supply of non-perishable foods, along with bottled water, a first aid kit, extra prescription medication, and extra food and supplies for infants and pets.
"All families should develop a 'Family Emergency Communication Plan' to help ensure everyone is safe. You should contact your local authorities to learn about your community's potential evacuation routes and the location of emergency shelters," said Schwartz. "It is important to familiarize yourself with your Community's Emergency Plans before an emergency situation occurs."
Develop a Disaster Supply Kit 'Go Bag', with essentials in case you must evacuate quickly.
Canned goods and nonperishable foods that do not need cooking:
Canned meats and fish
Canned fruits and vegetables
Canned soups and puddings
Canned fruit juices
Dried fruit and nuts
Bread, cookies and crackers
Peanut butter and jelly
Coffee and tea
Manual can opener
Bottled water (1 gallon per person/per day)
Prescription medication (2 week supply)
Extra eyeglasses
Pet food/supplies
Water purification tablets (halazone)
Disposable plates, cups, and utensils
Infant care items:
Disposable diapers
Baby wipes
Baby food
First aid supplies
Masking and duct tape
Flashlight or lantern, with extra batteries
Battery operated radio, with extra batteries
Watch or battery operated clock
Ice chest
Canned heat (sterno)
Portable outdoor camping stove or grill with fuel supply
A certain amount of cash
Important documents (Such as wills, deeds, prescriptions, passports, birth certificates, health record, proof of address, Social Security number)
Plastic trash bags
Plastic sheeting or tarp
Chlorinated bleach
Personal hygiene items
Other useful items:
Work gloves
Sun lotion
Insect repellent
Razor knife
Ax or chainsaw
Rope caulking
Nails and screws
Rope and wire
Broom, mop and bucket
All-purpose cleaner
Portable generator
Tree pruner
Shovel, rake and wheelbarrow
Sheets of plywood
Develop a Family Emergency Communications Plan in case family members are separated from one another during an emergency (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school, camp or at a friend's house). This plan should also address reunification after the immediate crisis passes.
Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the Family Emergency Communications Plan contact person. During and immediately after a disaster occurs, it is often easier to access a long distance telephone number than a local one. Also, calling outside a disaster area is usually easier than calling into the same area.
Make sure everyone knows the name, address and telephone number of the Family Emergency Communications Plan contact person.
Designate two meeting areas for family members - one within your community (your primary location), and one outside of your community (your alternate location). Sometimes an emergency could impact your neighborhood or small section of the community, so a second location outside of your community would be more accessible to all family members.
A Family Emergency Communications Plan can help reassure everyone's safety and minimize the stress associated with emergencies
Educate yourself and family about emergency plans for your community, place of business, your child's school and camp. Know what potential risks your community and neighborhood are susceptible to in a hurricane, such as storm surge, flooding, etc. Carefully monitor the Media and follow instructions from Public Safety officials as hurricane approaches.
© 2010 Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Dear Doug,
For the highest readability, start your letter with a short sentence.

Message Headline
By breaking up the body of the letter into logical topics, your readers can focus in on the topic that they deem most relevant.
Select your wording carefully. Most people scan their emails very quickly. Keep your paragraphs to seven lines or less. If you have more information, include a link to your website where your readers can get further details.

Thank your customer, tell them how valuable they are to you, but don't go overboard. Insincerity is easy to spot.


Nancy GardellaMartha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce