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Handbook Helping Bay State Residents Prepare for Coastal Hazards Released

May 30, 2013

With the official start of hurricane season set to begin June 1, the Massachusetts Homeowner’s Handbook to Prepare for Coastal Hazards is now available, marking National Hurricane Preparedness Week.

While the devastating power of nor’easters in Massachusetts was visible this winter, we only have to remember Hurricane Bob in 1991 to know that hurricanes also have significant impacts on our coast.  Additionally, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting an active or extremely active Atlantic hurricane season this year with a 70% chance for 13 to 20 named storms (including seven to 11 hurricanes, and three to six major hurricanes).  This handbook covers hurricanes, as well as the more common coastal hazards for Massachusetts, including nor’easters and flooding.

The handbook was developed collaboratively with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), Barnstable County, and the two Massachusetts Sea Grant programs, MIT Sea Grant (MITSG) and Woods Hole Sea Grant (WHSG). A key priority of this project partnership is increasing the resiliency of coastal communities to coastal hazards. One major component of strong communities is enhancing individual resilience and recognizing that adjustments to day-to-day living are necessary. This book is designed to promote individual resilience, thereby creating a fortified community, and specifically to help homeowners prepare for coastal hazards to reduce risks to family and property.

The resource provides information about coastal hazards in addition to guiding residents on practical measures that can keep them safe and minimize damage to homes and property.  While it is never possible to eliminate all potential damage from a natural hazard, homeowners can take action and implement many small and cost-effective steps that could significantly lower their risk. Mother Nature can be intense – families and homes deserve protection that only individuals can provide.

Free hard copies are available, while supplies last, at all town offices on the Cape and Islands as well as some additional towns throughout Massachusetts. A limited number of books can be ordered by emailing  The Homeowners Handbook to Prepare for Coastal Hazards will be updated periodically and is available as a free download at: and

For more information, contact:
Gregory Berman
(508) 289-3046


Woods Hole Sea Grant Program, 193 Oyster Pond Rd., MS #2, Woods Hole, MA 02543