New Bedford mayor, EMA warn now is time to prepare for hurricane

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — Hurricane season will continue until November 30, 2015. New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell is telling residents and business owners: now is the time to take steps to prepare against severe weather.

“This has been the quiet hurricane season that [the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] NOAA predicted, but we are not out of the woods yet,” said the city’s Emergency Management Director, Mark Mahoney, in a news release Tuesday.

The city and state emergency management agencies provided this list of points to consider:

1. Know Your Risk

Understand the hazards that are associated with hurricanes, and what risks they bring. The biggest hazards associated with tropical storms and hurricanes include storm surge and storm tide, heavy rainfall and inland flooding, as well as high winds. These hazards can cause property damage, widespread loss of power, and catastrophic flooding both inland and along the coast.

In New Bedford, it may be necessary to evacuate parts of the city to protect residents from storm surge flooding.  In all but the most severe storms, the area of evacuation will be those low-lying areas outside the New Bedford Hurricane Barrier.  Evacuation is also an option for residents living outside potential flood areas who feel more comfortable “riding out” the storm in the safety and security of a mass care hurricane shelter.  Residents and businesses are urged to heed evacuation orders from city officials when issued.

2.    Be Prepared

There are important steps everyone should take to prepare themselves and their family for the next hurricane or tropical storm.  Being prepared reduces the risk of property damage, injury or death.

Be prepared to evacuate or shelter in place;

Ensure your family is prepared by building an Emergency Kit with important disaster supplies and developing a Communication Plan;

Prepare your property for a hurricane.

3.    Stay Informed

Stay informed throughout Hurricane Season: know how to receive warnings and alerts, and critical information before and during a storm.

  • The Emergency Alert System (EAS) via radio and television
  • Local “Reverse 9-1-1” type notification systems. These systems may require opt-in/registration in advance, so check with your local public safety officials about which systems are used in your community and how to register
  • Wireless Emergency Alerts
  • MEMA’s free Massachusetts Alerts app that delivers critical information to your smartphone. To receive emergency information on your smartphone, including severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service and emergency information from MEMA, download the Massachusetts Alerts free app. To learn more about Massachusetts Alerts, and for information on how to download the free app (called Ping4Alerts!) onto your smartphone, click here to go to Mass.GOV.
  • All Hazards National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio.
  • U.S. Coast Guard Marine Broadcast
  • MEMA’s Twitter or Facebook accounts or social media accounts of a public safety agency in your community
  • Messages on Teletypewriters (TTY)

Other sources of important information:

National Hurricane Center
National Weather Service (Taunton)
Federal Emergency Management Agency

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