October 29, 2012 - Hurricane Sandy - Watches and Warnings from the Office of Risk Management*

Office of Risk Management
No. 2012 - 10
RE: Hurricane Sandy - Watches and Warnings  October 29, 2012

9:30 am. Hurricane Sandy grew and strengthened last night. She is currently a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph. Sandy’s wind field is moving north and into the Archdiocese of Boston’s forecasted area. Gusts of wind topping out at 35 mph have already been recorded in Boston. Expect winds to increase this afternoon and peak late this evening. Tropical wind gusts are forecasted for the area this afternoon.

Power outages, wind damage and coastal flooding remain the chief risk factors for this weather event. Rainfall amounts should reside in the 2 to 4 inch range; thus, the risk of major flooding inland has been reduced. There is still danger of localized flooding in the coastal areas and parishes and institutions located in coastal areas should take extra precautions.

Conditions will begin to improve during the first half of Tuesday morning.

Watches and Warnings

There remains a high wind warning for the forecasted area. A high wind warning is issued when sustained winds of 40 mph are expected for at least an hour and gusts of 58 mph or greater could occur at any time. This warning is now in effect until 6AM Tuesday morning.

There remains a storm warning for the waters just off the coast of Boston. A storm warning means winds of 48 to 63 knots are imminent or occurring. This warning is now in effect through the late hours of tonight.

A hurricane force wind warning has been issued for coastal waters from Provincetown to Chatham, Nantucket to 20 nautical miles out to sea. A hurricane force wind warning means winds of 64 knots or grater are imminent or occurring. This warning is in effect from 11AM this morning to the late hours of tonight.

Preparatory work at this time should revolve around localized flooding, high winds, power outages and coastal erosion/flooding. At this time, the Office of Risk Management urges you to make the following preliminary preparations:
• Be prepared for potential power outages as a result of downed power lines caused by storm activity. Have an emergency supply kit nearby, including water, flashlight, extra batteries, first aid items and non-perishable food.
• Clear clogged rain gutters. This storm brings the potential for torrential rain. Providing clear drainage will help prevent misdirected flooding. 
• Have a battery-operated radio on hand.
• Advise custodians to check all drains, grates and basins to ensure they are free of leaves and debris.
• Check to see if sump pumps are working.
• Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage to people/property.
• Remove dead or rotting branches that could fall and cause injury or damage.
• Make temporary plywood covers to protect windows and sliding doors. Drill holes for screws or lag bolts in each cover and around each window. Note: Taping of windows does not prevent them from breaking.   
• Be sure car is filled with fuel.
• If using a generator, do not use it in an enclosed space, such as a garage, due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
• Be sure sacramental registers and other important documents are in a secure location.  
For more information, please download our Hurricane Preparedness Guide, from our website: http://www.rcabrisk.org/hurricane-preparation

If you experience property damage, please do the following:

• Do everything possible to mitigate the damages, such as calling a cleaning and restoration company to provide clean up services. Please see below for contact details. The Office of Risk Management can provide assistance with this.
• Obtain photographs of the damages.
• Report the claim to our Claims Manager, Kent Wilkins, 617-746-5743; [email protected].
Emergency Response/Mitigation Specialists

ARS Restoration Specialists
Telephone: 617-969-1119

ServiceMaster by Gilmore

Telephone:  800-783-0552

ServiceMaster South Shore Inc.

Telephone:  888-545-2700 or 781-545-2700

ServiceMaster by Disaster Assoc., Inc.

Telephone:  781-454-7526

Although the Pastoral Center is closed today, the Office of Risk Management will continue to monitor the situation and will send risk alerts as the situation warrants. If you have any questions, please email [email protected].