Hurricane season upon us: be prepared

Above: Hurricane Sandy, Oct. 2012  (photo by NOAA/NASA)

I hope your basements stayed dry through Tropical Storm Andrea on Friday. I wish I could say that was the big storm of the summer/fall.  Unfortunately, this year’s hurricane season is predicted to be another rough one.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center is forcasting an “active or extremely active season” this year. Hurrican season is June 1st through November 30th.

Southborough Emergency Management warns:

The past few hurricane seasons have vividly reminded New Englanders and Mid-Atlantic State Residents that Hurricanes can and do impact our area and that a Tropical Storm can be just as devastating as a Hurricane. The outlook for the 2013 season predicts this pattern to continue.

Southborough has been spared the worst impacts of recent major storms however only by a few miles. The fact is, at some point our luck will run out and we will be faced with impacts as seen in Western Ma, SE Ma, Vermont, Rhode Island, New York & New Jersey.

The Southborough Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) strongly recommends all citizens to research and take steps to prepare your families, pets, neighbors, homes and businesses.

Hurricanes aren’t the only summer weather threat:

“Although tornadoes as severe as the Springfield and Worcester Tornadoes are rare, we are reminded that they can happen here and how damaging they can be,” states Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Director Kurt Schwartz.  “It is important that we all familiarize ourselves with what we should look for and what steps we should take if a tornado is forecast.”

Southborough Emergency Management asked us to share some important information about severe summer weather. Documents are attached below.  Preparation tips listed include:

  • Purchase a NOAA Weather Radio with a battery backup and tone-alert feature, as well as a battery-powered commercial radio and extra batteries.
  • Download the free ping4alert! app to your Smartphone to receive important weather alerts and emergency messages from MEMA.  Easy instructions are available at
  • Determine locations to seek shelter, such as a basement or storm cellar.  If an underground location is not available, identify an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor.
  • Know locations of designated shelters in places where your family spends time such as public buildings, nursing homes, shopping centers and schools.
  • Assemble your family’s Disaster Supply Kit.
  • Make a record of your personal property, taking photographs/video of your belongings.  Store these documents in a safe place.

Related documents:
SEMA’s 2013 Hurricane Facts and Preparedness
NOAA’s Hurrican Season Forecast
2013 Hurricane Categories and Watch-Warning Criteria
MEMA’s Severe Summer Weather: Tornado Tornado Watch and Warning information
National Grid Notification Opt-in options 

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