If you live in a place that is prone to floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards or other natural disasters try to remember that your local cemetery can be impacted by these events too. First check on the living and made sure they are safe and sound. After things have settled down and the storm has passed, don't forget to check on your local cemetery. Impact from downed branches can cause tremendous damage to historic stones.
Don't try to clear the debris from the storm yourself. Make note of the damage and its location and then call your town or city's public works department or the organization who oversees the cemetery. They will schedule time to come out and remove the problem. Come back at a later date after the debris is cleared and assess the damage. It there is substantial damage make a plan to contact the local historical society/commission or the caretaker of the cemetery.
I stopped by my local cemetery this morning after yesterday's storm which dumped about 18 inches of snow. I did find one large branch down in the newer section but it looked like it didn't fall on any stones. I was very happy to see that the oldest part of the cemetery dating back to the 1750s was left serenely untouched.
Life for early New Englanders was a challenge to say the least. They endured with the hopes of receiving their rewards in heaven. Little did they know they would have to continue to endure in death. Surviving a New England winter is no easy task for gravestones as shown by these photos at Centre Burial Ground in Foxboro, Massachusetts.