Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricanes (Tropical Cyclones) making landfall in Bourne have resulted in varying levels of destruction.  Recent hurricanes, such as Gloria in 1985, Bob in 1991, Earl in 2010, and Irene in 2011 all left behind widespread power outages, damaged boats, and destroyed or damaged roads and shoreline properties.  Based upon our shoreline and the approaches into the Cape Cod Canal in Buzzards Bay, the  potential for devastating storm surges is something every property owner must prepare for.  Homeowners in Bourne can see whether their property is at risk for storm surge by viewing the inundation map available in the Emergency Management office or online through the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency's website.
 
Be Informed
 
The Atlantic Hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th, with mid-August through mid-October being defined as the peak months.  The most recent hurricanes have affected Bourne and Cape Cod during the period of late August through early September.  In order to prepare for impending storms, you should know and understand the different definitions used for hurricanes and tropical storms.
 
Tropical Depression- A closed circulation of low atmospheric pressure, originating over tropical waters, winds
blow counter-clockwise around a center at speeds less than 39 mph.
 
Tropical StormA closed circulation of low atmospheric pressure, originating over tropical waters, winds blow counter-clockwise around a center at speeds ranging from 39 to 73 mph.
 
Hurricane- A violent storm over tropical waters with sustained winds of 74 mph or greater. The winds blow in a counterclockwise direction around a storm center which may range from 100 miles to several hundreds miles in diameter.
 
Tropical Storm Watch- Tropical storm conditions exist that may pose a threat to coastal area within 36 hours.
 
Tropical Storm Warning- issued when tropical storm conditions, including sustained winds of 39-73mph, are expected in within 24 hours.
 
Hurricane Watch- issued when a hurricane is near enough to the "watch" area and everyone should listen for information and be ready to take protective actions.
 
Hurricane Warning- issued when a hurricane is expected within 24 hours.  All precautions should be taken immediately.
 
Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale:
 
Tropical Storm - Winds 39-73mph
 
Category 1 Hurricane - Winds 74-95mph. No real damage to buildings. Damage to unanchored mobile homes. Some damage to poorly constructed signs. Also, some coastal flooding and minor pier damage.
 
Category 2 Hurricane - Winds 96-110mph. Some damage to building roofs, doors and windows. Considerable damage to mobile homes. Flooding damages piers and small craft in unprotected moorings may break their moorings. Some trees blown down.
 
Category 3 Hurricane - Winds 111-130mph.  Some structural damage to small residences and utility buildings. Large trees blown down. Mobile homes and poorly built signs destroyed. Flooding near the coast destroys smaller structures with larger structures damaged by floating debris. Terrain may be flooded well inland.
 
Category 4 Hurricane - Winds 131-155mph. More extensive curtain wall   failures with some complete roof structure failure on small residences. Major erosion of beach areas. Terrain may be flooded well inland.
 
Category 5 Hurricane - Winds 156 mph and up. Complete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings. Some complete building failures with small utility buildings blown over or away. Flooding causes major damage to lower floors of all structures near the shoreline. Massive evacuation of residential areas may be required.
               
              Family Preparedness
              Make sure you and your family has developed a plan to provide for your safety.  Before the beginning of hurricane season, check your family Disaster Supply Kit and replace or update items as needed.  Your kit should contain enough supplies to provide for your family for at least 72 hours after a disaster.  Discuss your family’s shelter plans, communications plan, and your house’s protection plan.  For more information on hurricane preparedness for your family, click on the following link Hurricane Preparedness