In fact, we have to think back to 1991 to remember the effects of Hurricane Bob, a Category 2-3 storm that hit Southeastern Massachusetts and Boston with winds of over 110 MPH in some places.
But every year is a new year, with a new potential to bring a large storm to Boston. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) most recent 2013 outlook, released last week, there's a 70 percent chance this year will be an above-normal season.
Estimates call for a total of 13-19 named storms, 6-9 hurricanes, and 3-5 major hurricanes.And just because a storm is not a Category 5 hurricane doesn’t mean it can’t do lots of damage. Hurricane Sandy was responsible for 147 deaths and $50 billion in damage to homes and businesses, according to the NOAA.
Tips to Prepare NowSo what can we do in Boston to be ready for a large storm before it hits?
The time to start picking up emergency supplies is not in the days before a large storm. Batteries, battery-powered radios, flashlights, and first-aid kits are all available for purchase throughout the year.
Before a storm, the Boston Public Health Commission recommends having food, drinking water, batteries, a battery-powered radio, flashlights, a fire extinguisher, a first aid kit, important paperwork, medications, a phone charger, and other daily necessities on hand in your home, and another emergency kit for your car that includes food, road flares, jumper cables, maps, tools, a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, and sleeping bags. You should also compile games and activities that don't need electricity to help you avoid cabin fever while waiting out the storm.
Store a 3-5 day supply of non-perishable food and water (about 5 gallons per person) in an area that is not at risk of flood damage.
"You can freeze perishable food items to keep them fresh for longer periods of time," said BPHC's S. Atyia Martin. "Food in an unopened fridge will stay cold for about four hours, and a full freezer can keep food at a safe temperature for up to 48 hours."
In the days directly ahead of a storm, fill your up your car's gas tank, and make arrangements with family, friends, and neighbors to help one another with transportation during an emergency or evacuation.
Are you worried about this year's hurricane season? Tell us in the comments.