Weather Ready Mattapoisett looks to prepare residents for big storms
Mattapoisett — Weather Ready Mattapoisett, an organization of local officials and citizens concerned about future flooding in town, invites townspeople interested in learning how the community is preparing for climate change to the group and the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday, Oct. 13 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Old Hammondtown School at 20 Shaw St.
This event will include an introduction to the work Weather Ready Mattapoisett is doing, including a discussion about how residents can protect their drinking water and wastewater systems. Speakers will look at how the town is preparing for emergencies and what citizens can do to help.
Mattapoisett officials want to make sure its residents are ready for the next big storm. The future promises more and bigger storms that can seriously impact the town’s infrastructure and more importantly its residents. This has attracted the attention of the EPA, and now town leaders want to share what they have learned and what residents can do to prepare for the future.
A highlight of the evening will be the “world premier” of the Mattapoisett preparedness video, which was produced by the town, and a video of survivor stories from the 1938 storm and Hurricane Bob, which was produced by Old Rochester Community Television.
Residents will be able to find out more about projects going on in Mattapoisett during the second half of the meeting. Information will be available to make sure every citizen in Mattapoisett is ready for the next hurricane, winter storm or other emergency. Materials will be available about how to download emergency alerts, create communication plans and how to prepare homes before an emergency.
Among other things, the Weather Ready group has put together pictures and stories from past hurricanes and created a collection of before and after photos, including pictures from the 1938 hurricane.
Among the invited guests will be Jared Watson, a local Boy Scout, who marked utility poles with flood levels from the ‘38 hurricane and Hurricane Bob as his Eagle Scout project.
Other aspects of Weather Ready include a high school teacher who is developing a citizen science project monitoring changes in the environment at two locations in town and a display of preparedness materials being put together by the library. Finally, for an online presence, the town created a webpage with all of this information and EPA is creating a “story map,” an interactive web page with maps and charts documenting the project.
This October presentation is the final piece of EPA’s community involvement in the project through its Regional Applied Research grants and its Regional Sustainability and Environmental Sciences Research Program.
“Mattapoisett and the Weather Ready group has shown us how a community that comes together for a common cause – protecting their environment– can build a future that will let them weather whatever storm may come their way,” said Jeri Weiss, EPA Region 1 drinking water specialist. “This effort provides a model for towns and cities nationwide that are facing the challenges of climate change.”