For Immediate Release
October 26, 2012
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office
Mayor Thomas M. Menino today announced preparedness plans for the City of Boston to deal with potential impacts of Hurricane Sandy. The high-impact storm is expected to reach Boston late Sunday, bringing heavy rain and hurricane-force winds, with the brunt of the storm arriving late Monday evening and into Tuesday morning. While City departments are taking measures to prepare for Sandy’s arrival, Mayor Menino reminds residents to take precautions and use common sense to stay safe throughout the storm.
“We have been monitoring the progression of Hurricane Sandy closely and while her potential impact is still uncertain, City departments have plans in place to respond as needed to the potential damage and effects of this storm,” Mayor Menino said. “The City is being proactive about preparedness, and we’re urging residents to do the same.”
Yesterday, the Mayor directed all front line departments to meet and ensure plans were in place. The Office of Emergency Management today joined conference calls with the National Weather Service, and federal and state teams, to discuss response plans and preparations. The City is also in close communication with NSTAR, National Grid and other utilities to manage any outages. The Mayor’s staff will be conducting daily calls to monitor the situation through the weekend, as the storm’s track becomes more definitive. All planned public events will be monitoring and rescheduled as necessary.
City departments and emergency responders are working together to prepare for Sandy’s potential impacts:
- The Public Works and Transportation Departments have directed all utility work and road construction to secure and backfill construction sites by 5 p.m. today.
- The Parks and Recreation Department is securing contractors for tree removal and trimming, and debris clean-up.
- The Office of Emergency Management is actively monitoring storm track with weather agencies.
- The Mayor’s 24-hour hotline is testing phone and tracking systems and coordinating emergency staffing.
- The Water and Sewer Commission and Public Works Department are coordinating to clean catch basins to prevent flooding.
- The Boston Police Department will increase patrols in the districts, including extra units in each division, to help with communications and emergency response.
- The Boston Fire Department will activate several additional engine companies, officers, and firefighters, as well as fire prevention vehicles for down wire response.
- Emergency Medical Services will provide extra coverage and is actively coordinating with local hospitals.
- Boston Centers for Youth and Family is preparing emergency shelters, if necessary.
- City homeless shelters will provide extra capacity, and additional workers will conduct outreach throughout the city beginning Sunday.
- Boston Transportation Department is opening its traffic center to assist and will be monitoring for “out signals” and down signs across the city.
- The Inspectional Services Department will have extra housing and building inspectors on-call and dispatched to neighborhoods to respond to building flooding or other safety issues.
Residents can call the Mayor’s hotline (617-635-4500) with any storm-related issues or concerns. For the latest information regarding the storm, residents are encouraged to register of Alert Boston to get emergency notifications and alerts by visiting www.cityofboston.gov/alertboston or follow @notifyboston on Twitter for updates.
Additionally, residents are reminded to take the following safety precautions:
- Put together an emergency supply kit, which should include food, water, medical supplies, and any other necessities for during and after the storm, if needed.
- Keep batteries and flashlights on hand in case of power outage.
- Stay indoors and away from windows.
- Do not drive or go outside during the storm to help keep roads clear for emergency vehicles.
- Immediately after a storm, use caution going outdoors. Be alert for hazards such as broken glass, down power lines, and damage to buildings.
- If you see down trees or power lines, call the Mayor’s Hotline to report the issue.
- Secure patio furniture, grills, window boxes, air conditioners, or anything else that may become a projectile in high winds.
- Ensure trash bags are double-bagged, and empty barrels are removed from the curbside and secured.