Boston residents urged to take precautions ahead of Tropical Storm Henri

The storm is expected to impact the Boston area Sunday, August 22, through Monday, August 23, 2021.

Mayor Kim Janey today issued precautions ahead of the Tropical Storm Henri. The storm is expected to impact the Boston area Sunday, August 22, through Monday, August 23, 2021. During the storm, the City expects to experience damaging winds, potential power outages, storm surge flooding, and flooding rain. Residents are encouraged to stay indoors throughout that time. 

“As we prepare for this storm, I urge all Boston residents to take precautions to stay safe,” said Mayor Janey. “Please make sure you tie down outdoor items that could blow away, do not drive through flooded roads, charge any important electronic devices, and keep enough emergency supplies on hand. In case of an emergency call 911, and for non-emergency concerns call 311. And as always, be mindful of anyone in your community who may need assistance.”

The City of Boston is urging the following precautions:

  • Put together a disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, first aid supplies, copies of critical information, and non-perishable food items.
  • Make a family emergency communication plan.
  • Turn on your TV and radio every 30 minutes to get the latest weather updates.
  • Charge your cell phone so you will have a full battery in case you lose power.
  • Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.
  • Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.
  • Avoid driving during the storm.
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
  • Consider clearing street catch basins to prevent or reduce street flooding.
  • Check on vulnerable neighbors who might need assistance. 
  • In the event of an emergency, call 911. 
  • For non-emergency issues, call 311.

General flood protection tips:

  • Sign up for emergency notifications through AlertBoston.
  • Know your zone! Know your evacuation zone and route and be prepared to evacuate as directed by public officials. 
  • Similarly, find out how vulnerable your property is to flooding. If your home is in a flood-prone area, contact the National Flood Insurance program to learn what mitigation measures you can take in advance.
  • Evaluate your insurance coverage once a year to make sure your home is fully covered.
  • If you live in a flood-prone area, keep these materials on hand: sandbags, plywood, lumber, plastic sheeting, trash bags, shovels, work boots and gloves.

In advance of a flood event:

  • Tie down or bring in outdoor objects (outdoor furniture, trash receptacles, etc.) that could be swept away or damaged during flooding.
  • Elevate items stored in your basement to prevent damage. If you have a sump pump, check that it is working. Remove hazardous household materials (e.g. paint, petroleum products) from basements and other areas that may flood.
  • Do not park your vehicle near the harbor, streams or rivers, especially during threatening weather conditions.
  • Follow any directives to turn off utilities. If you’re advised to switch off the main power source to your home, flip each breaker and THEN turn off the main breaker. You may also need to shut off the main valve for your home’s gas and water service.

After a flood event:

  • If you have evacuated, return home only when authorities have indicated it is safe.
  • Do not go near any downed power lines especially if there is standing water nearby.
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
  • If your home experienced flooding, keep the power off until an electrician has inspected your system for safety.
  • Do not touch a circuit breaker or replace a fuse with wet hands or while standing on a wet surface.
  • Have an electrician inspect electrical appliances that have been wet and do not turn on or plug in appliances unless an electrician tells you it is safe. A trained professional may be able to recondition some devices while others will require replacement.
  • Photograph damage to your property to assist in filing an insurance claim.
  • Take necessary measures to prevent further damage to private property immediately following a flood event, as damage caused after a qualifying event may not be covered by insurance.

Homeless Services:

The City of Boston works closely with a network of shelter providers to ensure there is adequate shelter from the high winds and rain. BPHC’s emergency shelters at 112 Southampton St. and 794 Massachusetts Ave are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Amnesty has been called because of the expected heavy rainfall and potential flash flooding so those with non-violent restrictions can access shelter. All sites are following COVID-19 guidelines by promoting handwashing, hand sanitizer, and face coverings.

We have more more information about hurricane preparedness tips. We also have flooding tips, and more information about emergency preparedness.

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