Sandy is currently a Category 1 hurricane, and its effects are expected to be felt in the greater Boston area as early as Sunday night. In anticipation of the approaching storm, Gov. Deval Patrick has declared a state of emergency across the commonwealth.
"While we continue to hope for the best, we are planning for the worst," Patrick said during a news conference Saturday afternoon. "This [declaration] enables us to cut through some of the red tape sometimes involved in securing the necessary services, supplies and personnel I want to be sure we have in advance of Hurricane Sandy reaching us."
State And National Coordination
The governor explained that his office has been working closely with the National Weather Service, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, utility companies and other state agencies to prepare for Sandy.
"Depending on how far north Sandy goes before turning west, there is potential for moderate to major coastal flooding and severe beach erosion. We're expecting damaging winds, strong enough for widespread power outages. There will be bands of heavy rain with the potential for five inches or more over several days," Patrick said.
The governor has called in the services of the Massachusetts National Guard. He said 200 guard members would be on duty on Saturday, increasing to 1,000 by Monday — and more if necessary.
Federal assistance is also possible. Patick announced that he was submitting a request to President Obama for a pre-landfall emergency declaration for direct federal assistance.
What People Should Do To Prepare
The governor provided a comprehensive listing of what individual Massachusetts residents can to do in order to safeguard their homes and themselves. He said:
Move inside or tie down lawn furniture or grills.
Be mindful of flying debris, including Halloween decorations and ornaments.
Patrick also stressed a sense of community responsibility.
"While you're making your own preparations, check in on an elderly or disabled neighbors who may be shut in. Make sure they have what they need in terms of food and medication and company," he said. "Make sure they stay safe and feel safe as well."
For more state emergency information, the governor encouraged residents to visit mass.gov or call 211.
This program aired on October 27, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.