The best time to prepare for a hurricane is well before you hear warnings on the radio. Hurricane Preparedness Week, May 25-31, is a time to get ready for whatever comes your way when New England hurricane season hits June 1 through November 30.
In the last 15 years, hurricanes in the U.S. have caused more than 1,700 deaths. Together, the two costliest hurricanes in the continental U.S. – Hurricane Sandy (in 2012) and Hurricane Katrina (in 2005) – caused about $2 billion in damages. Often, the most we can do to ensure the best possible outcome after a hurricane is to prepare for one before it arrives.
Here are some things to note during this week of preparation:
- Learn about flood risks, flood maps, flood zones, and flood insurance with FloodSmart.
- Refer to the local emergency management director for storm risks particular to your neighborhood. Utilize resources such as information about evacuation zones and emergency kit preparation.
- Before a hurricane hits, get a sense of the terms meteorologists will use so you can easily follow their weather predictions.
- During the storm, use any available technology to monitor all media reports for real-time updates through the Emergency Alert System and Ping4Alerts on your smartphone.
- Take the time to create a family communications plan just in case you find yourselves separated after the hurricane.
- Call 2-1-1 (not 9-1-1) if you have questions or need information, and only travel when necessary.
- Dedicate enough time to prepare your home (and also your boat) for hurricanes before hurricane season begins.
- If you own a business in a hurricane zone, take advantage of the disaster preparedness resources that are available to businesses and organizations.
- Remember to plan what to do with pets during an emergency as well.
- Track an oncoming hurricane’s path to confirm the validity of your plans and evacuation route.
- Follow the National Hurricane Center’s season-long updates on hurricane-related news and warnings.
- Even if evacuation is not necessary, there may be damage following a hurricane. Prepare for power outages and explore response and recovery resources available, including debris management and recovery help for homeowners.
- The Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) offers a handbook for homeowners living in coastal communities including information on how to protect yourself, your family, and your property.
- Groups and agencies like the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the American Red Cross offer various hurricane preparation and post-storm tools such as preparation checklists and tips for the rebuilding process.
- Continue your hurricane season preparations with these kits and guides.
Preparing for a hurricane requires time and effort, but it will be well spent should a storm make its way to your section of the state. Remember to share these tips and tools to help make Hurricane Preparedness Week a success.
What are your hurricane preparedness tips? Share them by commenting below, or tweeting at @MassGov.
Adopting in Massachusetts: How to Apply posted on Apr 28
Whether you have struggled to have a child or always planned to adopt, choosing to adopt is an incredible gift for your family and a child in need. Many of the children waiting to be adopted in Massachusetts have experienced loss and hardship, and just …Continue Reading Adopting in Massachusetts: How to Apply
National Teacher Appreciation Day: Become a K–12 Teacher in Massachusetts posted on Apr 26
May 3 is National Teacher Appreciation Day, in honor of teachers across the country who work so hard to educate and inspire our children. It’s also the day that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) will announce the Massachusetts Teacher of the Year …Continue Reading National Teacher Appreciation Day: Become a K–12 Teacher in Massachusetts
Submit Your Photos for the 2017 Massachusetts Agricultural Calendar posted on Apr 21
This is a guest blog post from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR). If you are a recreational photographer who enjoys capturing images of agriculture — whether it’s farm scenes, animals, or delicious produce — join MassGrown and Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom (MAC) …Continue Reading Submit Your Photos for the 2017 Massachusetts Agricultural Calendar