Governor Baker Proclaims “Hurricane Preparedness Week”
Residents Encouraged to Prepare Now
FRAMINGHAM – Governor Charlie Baker has proclaimed July 14-20, 2019, to be Hurricane Preparedness Week to emphasize the Commonwealth’s vulnerability to tropical storms and hurricanes and the importance of preparing for the potential impacts on the state’s residents, homes, businesses and infrastructure.
“Planning in advance for a tropical storm or hurricane will help mitigate damage to your property, better protect your family and reduce the burden on public safety personnel in an emergency situation,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration encourages residents in every region of the Commonwealth to develop an emergency plan, prepare emergency supplies and stay informed throughout hurricane season.”
“Our administration is committed to working with cities and towns across the Commonwealth to enhance their readiness and raise awareness before the next hurricane or tropical storm,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We join MEMA in encouraging all residents to take the time to prepare in advance for this hurricane season.”
“While it’s been many years since we’ve seen a hurricane in New England, it only takes one storm to cause major damage,” said Public Safety and Security Secretary Thomas Turco, “Atlantic hurricanes that have hit states and territories in the Southeast are reminders of the devastation caused by hurricanes and tropical storms.”
“We encourage all residents to prepare for the impacts of a tropical storm or hurricane,” said MEMA Director Samantha Phillips. “Tropical systems can cause storm surge in coastal areas and heavy inland rainfall, flooding, and destructive winds in all parts of the state.”
Know Your Evacuation Zone
Massachusetts has established hurricane evacuation zones in each of the state’s coastal communities. These zones, designated as Zone A, Zone B and Zone C, identify the areas of coastal communities that are at risk for storm surge flooding from tropical storms or hurricanes. If evacuations are necessary because of an approaching tropical storm or hurricane, local or state officials will use the hurricane evacuation zones to call for people living, working or vacationing in these areas to evacuate. Find out if you live, work or vacation in a hurricane evacuation zone by visiting the ‘Know Your Zone’ interactive map located on MEMA’s website at www.mass.gov/knowyourzone.
Make an Emergency Plan
It’s important to have plans in case your family needs to take action before or during a storm:
Communications Plan — Create a family communications plan so you can stay in touch and find each other in an emergency.
Evacuation Plan — Create a family evacuation plan that details where you will go, how you will get there, what you will bring, and what you will do with your pets.
Shelter-in-Place Plan — Make sure your family has a plan to shelter in place, which includes stockpiling items you will need to stay comfortable while you are at home. Be prepared to shelter in place for at least 72 hours.
Make sure your emergency plans address the needs of all of your family members, including seniors, children, individuals with access and functional needs, and pets.
Build an Emergency Kit
Hurricanes can cause extended power outages, flooding, and blocked roads. You should have an emergency kit to sustain yourself and your family for at least 72 hours in case you lose power, are stranded in your home, or nearby stores are closed or damaged. While it is important to customize your kit to meet your family’s unique needs, every emergency kit should include bottled water, food, a flashlight, a radio and extra batteries, a first aid kit, sanitation items, clothing, cash and a charged cell phone. Depending on your family’s needs, emergency kits should also include medications, extra eyeglasses, medical equipment and supplies, children’s items such as diapers and formula, food and supplies for pets and service animals, and other items you or your family members might need during a disaster.
As a storm approaches, monitor media reports and follow instructions from public safety officials with these tools:
Local Emergency Notification Systems — Check with your local emergency management director to see if your community uses an emergency notification system and how to enroll.
Mass 2-1-1 — Mass 2-1-1 is the state non-emergency call center for disasters. Call 2-1-1 to find out about shelter locations, travel restrictions, disaster assistance programs, and more. Mass 2-1-1 is free and available 24/7.
For more information, visit the Hurricane Safety Tips section of MEMA’s website at https://www.mass.gov/service-details/hurricane-safety-tips.