Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hurricane Sandy and Preparedness Tips

assachusetts Emergency Management Agency
Hurricane Sandy Situational Awareness Statement (SAS) #9

Date:  October 28, 2012
Time:  1:30 PM

Hurricane Sandy is currently off the coast of North Carolina and is expected to move north-northwest tonight and tomorrow, making landfall along the New Jersey coast sometime Monday night into Tuesday.

Given the large geographic size and duration of Sandy, Massachusetts will experience moderate to major impacts, including damaging winds for a period of 12 – 18 hours, associated widespread power outages, and heavy rains. In addition, both south- and east-facing coastlines will experience moderate to major coastal flooding and beach erosion.

Potential impacts of Sandy include:

High Seas: Sandy is predicted to cause unusually high seas (30 feet or greater) off the coast of New England with seas building Sunday evening and peaking Monday and Tuesday. Strong gale and storm force winds are expected with hurricane force gusts possible.  Seas will be dangerous and potentially life-threatening, even for large vessels. National Weather Service (NWS) advises all vessels be in port by Sunday morning.

Winds: Damaging winds and associated widespread power outages are likely. Wind damage may be exacerbated in southern New England as most trees still have foliage at this time of year. Inland Massachusetts could experience sustained 30-40 mph winds with gusts of 50-60 mph. beginning Monday morning. The Massachusetts coastline will see winds of 40-50 mph with gusts 60-80 mph beginning in late Sunday night and early Monday morning.

Coastal Flooding: Both east- and south-facing coasts in Massachusetts may experience moderate to major coastal flooding and beach erosion during the Monday and Tuesday high tide cycles. For south-facing coasts, the Monday evening high tide is of most concern and may experience major coastal flooding. Surge is expected to reach 3-5 feet, with high energy waves of up to 30 feet approaching the coastline. There is the possibility that areas within Buzzards Bay, especially the south coast, may to see up to 6-10 feet of surge as the winds push water up into the bay, resulting in destructive coastal flooding. For east-facing coasts, minor to moderate coastal flooding may occur, with the Monday midday and midnight high tide cycles of most concern. East-facing coasts may see 2-4 feet of surge during high tide, with 3-5 feet possible during low tide cycle.

Rainfall:  Massachusetts can expect 1 -3 inches of rainfall Sunday night through Wednesday with locally higher amounts of 3-5 inches possible, especially in the Berkshires and Worcester Hills. Rain is expected to begin Sunday night and potentially last through mid-week.

The latest 5-day forecast map from the National Hurricane Center is included below.

The State Emergency Operations Center has activated to Level 2 (Full)as of 9:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, and will expand activation to a Level 1 (Highest) on Sunday night.

Hurricane Preparedness Tips for the General Public:

·        Finish your preparedness activities today:

·        Be sure to have a well-stocked Family Disaster Kit in the event you lose power or are isolated for a number of days.

·        Clear clogged rain gutters. This storm brings the potential for torrential rain. Providing clear drainage will help prevent misdirected flooding.

·        Secure outdoor items such as lawn furniture, trash barrels, hanging plants, decorations, toys and awnings that can be broken or picked up by strong winds and potentially become a projectile.

·        Elevate articles in your basement that could be damaged from even minor flooding.

·        Keep your vehicles fully fuelled.

·        Have a certain amount of cash available.  If power is lost, ATMs may not be working.

·        Stay informed by monitoring the storm via the media.

·        Plan to stay safely indoors throughout the course of the storm, beginning Sunday night and through Tuesday morning. Ensure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries and are operable.

·        If you use a generator, be sure to operate it outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.  Be sure to shut off your main power supply to your home when running your generator.

·        Do not use gas stoves or candles as heat or light sources.

·        Heed guidance and directives from your local officials.

MEMA encourages smartphone users to download the free ping4alerts! app. This app is available free of charge for iPhone and Android phones and receives severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service and emergency information from MEMA based on the user's location.  Learn more at

Online Resources:
For additional information and resources, visit:
Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency at (Hurricane preparedness tips and other preparedness information are available through the “Hurricane” link on MEMA’s homepage).
MEMA's Facebook page:
MEMA Twitter: @MassEMA
Federal Emergency Management Agency at
National Hurricane Center website at
National Weather Service/Taunton at
National Weather Service/Albany, NY at
Mass211 at

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