Earlier this month we shared the fact that the Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1st and runs through November 30th
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, or MEMA, states that "evacuation may be necessary during a hurricane or tropical storm due to risk of storm surge." They define storm surge as "an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm, over and above the predicted astronomical tide."
According to Mass.Gov, if you live, work, or are planning a vacation in one of Massachusetts' coastal communities, or near a river or other water source connected to the coast, you should "Know Your Zone", when it comes to hurricanes, flooding, and evacuation routes.
What are the hurricane evacuation zones?
Hurricane evacuation zones do not correspond directly to hurricane categories, since storm surge can differ from one storm to another. According to Mass.gov, the evacuation zones are categorized as:
Zone A & B – These zones include areas that, depending on predicted inundation, may flood first from storm surge during a tropical storm or hurricane. Areas in Zone A would flood before areas in Zone B.
Zone C – The cities of Boston and Cambridge have designated a third zone, Zone C, which may flood depending on the track and intensity of the storm.
For a larger, full size version of the hurricane evacuation map, visit the Hurricane Evacuation Zone Interactive Map on MEMA's site, where you can plug in an address in question.
What should I do if I live, work, or vacation in a hurricane evacuation zone?
According to the Center for Disease Control, (CDC) , you should listen for National Weather Service alerts on TV or radio or via a mobile app. A hurricane watch indicates possible hurricane conditions of sustained winds of 74 MPH or higher. A hurricane warning is more serious and indicates hurricane force winds are expected in the given area.
There are full, detailed preparedness details on the CDC site . Here is a partial list:
- Make a plan to refer to should a hurricane or tropical storm threaten.
- Gather emergency supplies such as food, water, medicine, power sources, safety and personal items and important documents.
- Get your car ready. Fill the tank, move cars into your garage or under cover, keep an emergency kit in the car.
- Get family and pets ready. Go over your emergency plan. Have a plan for anyone who may be disabled who might not be able to move quickly. Plan for pets and farm animals.
- Get your home ready by clearing yard of anything that could blow around such as bikes, lawn furniture, propane tanks, grills, etc.
- Fill clean water containers with drinking water
If you need to evacuate, the CDC also states:
- Grab your emergency supply kit and take only what you need with you.
- Unplug your appliances. Turn off gas, electricity, and water.
- Follow roads that emergency workers direct you to, even if there is traffic.
This is only a partial list, and we recommend that you check with MEMA, Mass.Gov, the CDC, and local authorities to keep abreast of the recommendations that are given to you.