Our week-long series, “Are We Ready?,” examines hurricane preparedness on Cape Cod and the Islands. It’s a collaboration between WCAI and the Cape Cod Times.
Are you prepared for a hurricane to hit Cape Cod?
Cape officials say personal preparedness for a hurricane or other disaster means thinking ahead
By Colleen Cronin and Taryn Penna
Unless you’re a doomsday prepper or work for an emergency management company, you may not know how to prepare for the “big” hurricane.
Even experts say that they’re not as ready as they should be. Worrying about a storm that hasn’t been forecast yet may seem unnecessary, but even thinking about the 'what if?' could make all the difference, they say.
Come up with a plan, make a kit
If you do nothing else, at least make a tentative plan, experts said.
Preparing for a hurricane is a “thought process,” according to Brian Gallant, Sandwich emergency management director. Knowing emergency phone numbers and who to call is a good first step, he said.
It’s important to make an emergency kit that can either be kept in a safe place in a house or stowed in a car, officials said.
Rushing to the grocery store before a hurricane hits isn’t the best way to handle the situation, said Hillary Greene, executive director of the American Red Cross of the Cape, Islands and Southeast Massachusetts.
If the weather conditions require staying home, households should have a gallon of water per resident per day, to last three days, Greene said. For a family of four people, that means having 12 gallons of water on hand.
“Water evaporates,” Greene said, adding that she found her emergency water supply gone when she recently checked her own kit.
Experts: Pilgrim safe from hurricane's impact
But foes of the nuclear plant worry about problems in storm's aftermath
By Christine Legere
PLYMOUTH — The state’s sole operating nuclear power plant is capable of standing up to whatever a major hurricane might bring its way, according to experts like David Lochbaum, director of the nuclear safety program for the Union of Concerned Scientists.
The federal agency overseeing the nation’s nuclear industry agrees, although there are others who remain skeptical.
Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, located in Plymouth on the shore of Cape Cod Bay, has experienced a myriad of equipment and performance problems during its 45-year history, drawing the attention of a veritable squadron of vocal opponents who keep close tabs on its operation.
The reactor, owned by Entergy Corp., has spent the past three years languishing in a performance category reserved for the nation’s worst reactors: one step above federally ordered shutdown. Currently, it is the only reactor, of the nation’s fleet of 99, in that lowest performance category.
Pilgrim is scheduled to stay online for another 10 months, so it has a single hurricane season to go before its final shutdown next June.
Lochbaum doesn’t believe that even a major hurricane during that time would affect the plant’s essential systems.