Hazard Preparedness

preparednessCape Cod is a unique place with many area specific hazards that change throughout the seasons. As residents or visitors of Cape Cod, it is important to be aware of these potential hazards and prepare accordingly. Hurricanes, flooding, winter weather, hot weather, and radiation are all hazards that residents of Cape Cod are susceptible to and must prepare for. Weather warnings and advisories vary based on location and climate throughout the country.

Hazardous Weather Warnings

In order to fully understand any emergency weather warnings or advisories you may see on the news or online please refer to the NWS Warnings and Advisories for Southern New England.

Hurricane Preparedness: Cape Cod is vulnerable to hurricanes making it vital to have a plan in place in order to stay safe during any event.

HURRICANE WARNING: Sustained winds ≥ 74 mph (≥ 64 kts) (no gust criteria) associated with a hurricane expected to affect a coastal or inland zone within 36 hours.

Flood Preparedness: On Cape Cod, floods can occur rapidly and disastrously. Stay aware of your proximity to water and prepare for any local flooding disasters. 

FLOOD WARNING: Expected overflow or inundation by water which causes or will cause damage and/or a threat to life.

Winter Weather Preparedness: Winter on Cape Cod can be extreme in certain instances. It is important for year round residents to brace for winter.

WINTER STORM WARNING:

  • More than one predominant hazard
    • Winter weather event having more than one predominant hazard {ie. heavy snow and blowing snow (below blizzard conditions), snow and ice, snow and sleet, sleet and ice, or snow, sleet and ice} meeting or exceeding warning criteria for at least one of the precipitation elements.
  • Snow, Ocean Effect Snow, or Sleet:
    • 6 inches averaged over a forecast zone in a 12 hour period (except 7 inches in Berkshire and Litchfield Counties)
    • 8 inches averaged over a forecast zone in a 24 hour period (except 9 inches in Berkshire and Litchfield Counties)

Hot Weather Preparedness: Hot Summer days can have disastrous effects on human health and wellbeing. Be sure to check out our guides before risking exposure to harmful sun, heat, and waves.

EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING: Daytime heat indices of ≥ 105°F for 2 or more hours.

Radiation Preparedness: Cape Cod is located near the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station. There are numerous plans for any related emergency that can be reviewed.