The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has updated hurricane inundation maps for coastal communities in Massachusetts as part of an update to the New England Hurricane Evacuation Study. These maps are created using a Sea, Lake and Overland Surges from Hurricanes (SLOSH) model developed by the National Weather Service (NWS) to estimate potential storm surge for Category 1-4 hurricanes. While these statistical models are based on historical and hypothetical hurricanes, each storm is different and thus may have different impacts than these computer models. To be safe, people are always encouraged to prepare for the impacts of one category higher hurricane than the storm’s official strength.
Individuals who live and/or work in coastal communities or communities with rivers or other waterways that connect to the ocean are encouraged to review their community’s Hurricane Inundation Map (below) and Hurricane Evacuation Zones to determine if their home or workplace may be vulnerable to flooding during a hurricane, and determine if these properties are in a hurricane evacuation zone. Those who live or work in inundation areas and evacuation zones should plan for and be prepared to evacuate during a hurricane and should listen to local public safety officials and weather forecasts before and during a hurricane for evacuation information. For hurricane preparedness related information and tips, see MEMA’s Hurricanes webpage.
Evacuation zone maps are also available in PDF file format by community. For more information on how the hurricane evacuation zone maps were made (using hurricane inundation maps) and instructions please see the More Information About Hurricane Inundation and Evacuation Maps webpage.
For more hurricane preparedness related information and tips, see MEMA’s Hurricanes webpage.
For emergency managers and public safety officials, see MEMA’s Hurricane Resources for Emergency Managers webpage for more information.
Hurricane evacuation zones should not be confused with flood insurance risk zones, which are designated by FEMA and available in the form of Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). You can determine whether you live in a flood insurance risk zone by visiting https://msc.fema.gov/.