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

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Q&A: library cards and borrowing policies

Q: How do I get a WPL library card?
A: You may apply for a WPL library card in person at any one of our locations, mobile library or online through our website. You must present proof of current address.

Q: I lost my library card. What do I do now?
A: You can get a replacement card at the library card desk. The cost is $1.00 for adults and $0.50 for children, teens and seniors.

Q: How many items can I borrow on my card?
A. You may borrow a total of 50 items on your card.

Q: Do I have to return the materials to the same location I borrowed it from?
A: No. Items may be returned to any library in central or western Massachusetts that belongs to the C/W MARS network.

Q: Is there a charge to borrow materials from the library?
A: No. All borrowable materials are loaned for free. You will only accrue a fine if materials are returned late. Please refer to our fines policy for more information on specific fines.

Q: My book is due tomorrow and I am not done with it yet! What do I do?
A: Most items owned by Worcester Public Library can be renewed if no one else is waiting in line for that item. Please refer to the renewal policy for details.

Please feel free to email Priya, if you have further questions regarding library cards and how to borrow materials from the Worcester Public Library.

Monday, October 1, 2012

E-Content of the Month, October 2012

Whatever your goal, LearningExpress Library's resources will help you succeed.

 The Learning Express Library is an online collection of practice tests, exercises, skill-building courses, and ebook.

Just some of the many practice tests available include:
ACT, AP, ASVAB, CDL, Civil Service Cosmetology, EMS Firefighter,  GED, GMAT,  GRE,  Law Enforcement, LSAT, MTEL, Nursing and Allied Health,  Praxis/PPST,  Real Estate,  SAT,  TOEIC,  TOEFL,  U.S. Citizenship.

The Learning Express Library also includes basic reading, writing, and math skills improvement for school children and adults. A "skills improvement" section is also included with Spanish language instruction.

To access Learning Express Library: (A valid Worcester Public Library card is required.)
1. Go to the library's homepage
2. Click on Online Databases in the left column
3. Choose Test Preparation and Online Tutorials under By Subject

All users must create an account to use the Learning Express Library.

If you are already a registered user, you do not need to register again. Click here to login.

If you are using this resource for the first time, please click "New User." Create a username and a password of your choice. Both your username and password must be a minimum of six characters and should not include spaces. Enter your email so Learning Express Library can send you a new password if you forget yours.

If you need help with your account, call Learning Express Library at 1-800-295-9556, ext. 2; or e-mail them at

If you have questions regarding using Learning Express Library, ask a librarian at 508-799-1655 x3 or email Ping at

Banned Books Week - Celebrating the Freedom to Read September 30th - October 6th
Frequently Challenged Books

Election Information - Thursday, November, 2012 (Polls open 7 am - 8 pm)
Click here to find Where do I vote? 7 Websites for Science Questions & Answers - job and resume search and posting
Indeed allows job seekers to apply directly to jobs on the site and offers resume posting and storage