Hurricane Preparedness Workshops to be Held on the South Coast

HurricaneBARNSTABLE – The 2015 hurricane season is underway and a series of hurricane preparedness workshops will be held in southeastern Massachusetts next month.

Speakers from the National Weather Service, the Red Cross, federal and state emergency officials and Eversource Energy will be on hand, according to Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency spokesman Peter Judge.

“There will be a number of presentations about a historical background of hurricanes on the Cape and the south coast,” he said. “But also things that people should be doing and help to prepare to protect themselves and their family in case we do get that next big storm.”

Judge said these types of workshops had fallen by the wayside over the last few years.

“We think the time is probably right to bring people up to speed with the right way to prepare for the hurricane season particularly down on the Cape and in the south coast region,” the spokesman said.

The first workshop will be held on Monday, July 27, at the Marine Museum in Fall River.

It will be followed the next day by another workshop at Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay, with the third and final meeting on Wednesday, June 29, at Cape Cod Community College in West Barnstable.

All three workshops are free and open to the public and will be held from 7 to 9 p.m.

Judge said that people should remember to have an emergency kit in place this time of year and should include items like a flashlight with batteries, portable radio, non-perishable food, bottled water and first aid kit.

“These are the type of things they need in case they get isolated in their home without power for a few days which is very, very possible this time of the year,” Judge said.

The MEMA spokesman said that having a communication plan is important which should include potential evacuation routes, how to communicate if separated, and possible destinations if evacuation is needed.

“We want people not to wait until we really get into a storm event and start scrambling,” he said. “We want people to do these things well ahead of time.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted in May that the hurricane season, which runs from June through November, would be below-average this year.

NOAA believes there is a 70 percent likelihood of six to 11 named storms, of which three to six could become hurricanes including up to two major hurricanes.

There is a 20 percent chance of a near-normal season and a 10 percent chance of an above-normal season, according to the agency.
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