Governor Maura Healey has declared July 9-15, to be “Hurricane Preparedness Week,” recognizing the importance of preparing for the impact of extreme weather. As part of the Administration’s commitment to strengthening community readiness and resiliency, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) will highlight the Commonwealth’s ongoing hurricane mitigation efforts and offer resources for residents and municipalities to learn what they can do before, during, and after a powerful storm to stay safe and protect property from hurricane-related hazards.
“As climate change fuels extreme weather across the country, every Massachusetts community must plan and prepare for the potential impact of tropical storms and hurricanes,” said Governor Healey. “During Hurricane Preparedness Week, I encourage residents of coastal and inland areas alike to visit MEMA’s website for preparedness information, make a plan, and stay informed about how to take care of yourself and your loved ones before, during and after a storm.”
“Severe tropical storms can have a devastating impact on communities. All Massachusetts residents are urged to learn about and prepare for the dangers of these storms,” said Lieutenant Governor Kimberley Driscoll. “Taking steps in advance to prepare and practice an emergency plan will help individuals and families to stay safe during a storm and recover more quickly when it is over.”
“Hurricane Preparedness Week provides all of us with an opportunity to better prepare for the tropical storms that historically visit Massachusetts in August and September,” said Public Safety and Security Secretary Terrence Reidy. “The significant impact of these weather events – from storm surges on the coast to inland flooding in Western Massachusetts – pose a significant risk that requires thoughtful community planning. I commend MEMA Acting Director Brantley and her team for their commitment to delivering important resources to residents and the communities they call home.”
As part of MEMA’s whole-community approach to hurricane preparedness, the Agency has convened meetings to discuss logistics, operational plans, and capabilities; facilitated numerous local & state tabletop exercises; and will host a Statewide Hurricane Preparedness Symposium in late July to bring together over 250 local, state, federal, private sector and voluntary agency emergency management partners to address topics related to hurricane preparedness, response and recovery.
“Inclusivity remains a top priority in everything we do at MEMA, especially when it comes to preparedness,” said MEMA Acting Director Dawn Brantley. “Whether it’s providing technical assistance to communities seeking to create evacuation or transportation plans for individuals with disabilities, or offering culturally appropriate tips in multiple languages on how individuals can be better prepared – our goal is to ensure that we are ready to support all individuals equally and equitably before, during, and after disasters.”
How Residents Can Prepare
Know Your Evacuation Zone – Visit www.mass.gov/knowyourzone to learn if you live or work in a hurricane evacuation zone. If you live in an area that may flood and may need assistance evacuating, plan with family, neighbors, and friends who may be able to assist, and contact your local public safety officials to make them aware of your needs.
Make an Emergency Plan – A plan should address how your family would communicate, evacuate, and shelter in place if needed. Be sure to account for the needs of all your family members, including seniors, children, individuals with disabilities, and pets: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/make-a-family-emergency-plan. If you receive medical treatment or home health care services, work with your medical provider to determine how to maintain care and service if you are unable to leave your home or have to evacuate.
Build an Emergency Kit – Build an emergency kit that will sustain your household for three to five days without power. For tips on what to include, visit https://www.mass.gov/info-details/build-an-emergency-kit
Stay Informed – Every family should have multiple methods for receiving emergency alerts and is encouraged to reach out to their local officials for preparedness and emergency information specific to their community, including available local emergency notification systems. The Commonwealth’s 2-1-1 hotline is available 24×7 for non-emergency assistance and is available with translation in more than 150 languages and can be accessed via video relay services. To learn more about additional ways to receive alerts and information, including the Emergency Alert System, Wireless Emergency Alerts, NOAA Weather Radio, and social and traditional news media, visit: www.mass.gov/info-details/be-informed-and-receive-emergency-alerts
MEMA will share preparedness and safety information throughout hurricane season. For more information, including interactive evacuation zone maps, multi-lingual social media toolkits and flyers, preparedness tips, videos, and more, visit MEMA’s Hurricane Season Preparedness webpage.