PLYMOUTH — Chief G. Edward Bradley, Emergency Management Director Henry Lipe and the Plymouth Fire Department encourage residents to take a series of precautions in the event of a tropical storm or hurricane.
Gov. Charlie Baker has proclaimed July 11-17 to be Hurricane Preparedness Week and is emphasizing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ vulnerability to tropical storms and hurricanes, as well as the importance of being prepared for the impacts of these storms. Even if severe weather doesn’t strike Massachusetts directly, the state is still at risk of feeling a storm’s impact, which can include heavy flooding and destructive winds.
June 1 marked the official start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which runs through Nov. 30. While most hurricanes and tropical storms that hit New England occur during August and September, residents are encouraged to take time now to prepare, especially after the impacts of Tropical Storm Elsa.
“We encourage all of our residents to be proactive before a storm instead of reactive to its potentially devastating impacts,” Chief Bradley said. “Residents’ ability to be prepared and have a plan is critical in any emergency situation, including those that are weather-related. As such, we recommend residents familiarize themselves with the necessary safety precautions to prepare themselves ahead of any type of storm.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) seasonal outlook predicts another active, above-normal, Atlantic hurricane season.
All Massachusetts residents need to prepare for the possibility of storm impacts, and are encouraged to learn more about the hazards and how to prepare by visiting the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency’s (MEMA) hurricane webpage at
The Plymouth Fire Department wishes to share the following tips from MEMA:
Hurricane and Tropical Storm Safety Tips
MEMA offers several safety tips for residents in the event of a hurricane or tropical storm in our area:
- Stay informed by signing up for emergency alerts.
- Know your zone. Massachusetts has defined hurricane evacuation zones for areas of the state at risk for storm surge flooding. Even areas not directly along a coastline may be at risk for storm surge flooding during a tropical storm or hurricane.
- Develop a family emergency plan by establishing meeting locations, creating an emergency contact plan, planning how to evacuate and learning how to shelter in place. Practice your plan with your entire family, and make sure the plan accounts for individuals who have access needs, seniors, children and pets.
- Acquaint yourself with the emergency plans at places where your family spends considerable time, such as your workplace or your children’s school.
- Assemble an emergency kit. Be sure to include bottled water, food, a flashlight, a radio and extra batteries, a first aid kit and personal hygiene items. Depending on your family’s needs, emergency kits should also include medications, spare eyeglasses, medical equipment and supplies, and children’s items such as diapers and formula.
- Those receiving medical treatment or home health services can work with a medical provider to learn how to maintain care in the event of a hurricane that requires evacuation.
- Consider purchasing a generator. If you do, be sure to familiarize yourself with the manufacturer’s instructions to use it safely. NEVER run a generator indoors, in a garage or with the exhaust facing the home or home air intakes.
- Take photos or videos of your possessions to create a record for insurance purposes.
- Prepare your home if a storm is coming by securing outdoor objects, clearing rain gutters, covering windows with shutters or plywood (do not use tape), turn off propane tanks that aren’t being used, elevate items in your basement in case of flooding, check your sump pump, unplug sensitive electronic equipment, clear nearby catch basins, park vehicles in areas that are unlikely to flood, and remove any boats from the water.
- Do not go out during a hurricane or tropical storm, if possible.
Lightning and Flash Flooding Safety Tips
Flash flooding and severe thunderstorms typically offer low predictability. Therefore, it’s very important to follow the latest weather updates.
- Stay indoors during a storm. If outdoors, seek shelter immediately. Stay inside until at least 30 minutes after you last hear thunder or see lightning.
- Avoid showering, bathing, washing dishes, or doing laundry. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
- Consider unplugging sensitive electronic equipment before flooding occurs. But, do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
- If you must evacuate or are traveling during flooding, remember:
- Do not walk through flowing water. Most drownings occur during flash floods. Six inches of swiftly moving water can knock you off of your feet.
- Remember the phrase “Turn Around, Don’t Drown!” Don’t drive through flooded roads. Cars can be swept away in only two feet of moving water. If your vehicle is trapped in rapidly moving water, stay in the vehicle. If the water is rising inside the vehicle, seek refuge on the roof.
Receiving warnings, timely emergency alerts and information from public officials is critical to staying safe during a tropical storm or hurricane. Every family should have multiple methods for receiving emergency alerts.
Residents are reminded that the forecast can change quickly and at any point and they should monitor the local forecast throughout the day. Stay informed by receiving alerts, warnings, and public safety information before, during and after emergencies.
Community members are also encouraged to sign up for email updates from the Plymouth Fire Department. To do so, visit the Plymouth Fire Department’s website here. On the homepage, click the banner at the top or the tile that says ‘Sign Up For Email Alerts’ and enter your email address to subscribe to the website and receive email notifications of new posts.