The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency has launched a “Know Your Zone” campaign. If MEMA issues an evacuation order, they will refer to the zones. In a press release, MEMA stated:
Over the past year, MEMA, in collaboration with the Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Commonwealth’s coastal communities, has developed hurricane evacuation zones for each coastal community in the state. Most coastal communities now have two hurricane evacuation zones (Zones A and B), while Boston and Cambridge have three hurricane evacuation zones (Zones A, B and C). If local or state officials need to issue evacuation recommendations or orders as a tropical storm or hurricane approaches, they will do so by referring to the Hurricane Evacuation Zones (Zones A, B or C)
The evacuation zones include areas at risk of inundation or isolation in major storms. All of my communities do overlap evacuation zones. Check the map here.
- Much of the Winn Brook and Claypit Pond in Belmont areas are in zone A (lowest lying).
- Watertown Square is in Zone A and Zone B reaches well away from the river — as far, for example, as the intersection of Russell Ave and Mount Auburn.
- Most of Brighton lies higher and outside of any evacuation zone, but areas right along the river are in zone C.
- Back Bay and Fenway are in Zone C.
The storm preparedness advice from MEMA is mostly what you would expect. The main thrust of the campaign is to create a vocabulary for evacuation orders.