DEVENS, Mass. (WWLP) - June 1st is not only the anniversary of the tornadoes devastating parts of western Massachusetts, it also marks the beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season
In the eastern Massachusetts community of Devens on Wednesday, Massachusetts had a weather conference like no other.
We all remember tropical storm Irene, an ugly reminder that western Massachusetts is not immune to tropical storms or hurricanes.
"The rainfall and the flooding is a great example of where we can do even better, we think about a hurricane coming, we start getting very focused on wind," said Kurt Schwartz the Director of MEMA.
Wind wasn't nearly as damaging to western Massachusetts as the flooding rains were..
At this first ever Massachusetts hurricane preparedness conference, emergency management officials from across Massachusetts gathered to try to improve preparedness and understanding of damaging tropical storms and hurricanes.
With tropical storm Irene fresh in the mind, this conference was extremely popular. However, the worry is that years from now, if we get quiet weather, that people will get complacent about hurricanes.
"The further away from these events we get, that always remains our fear," said Peter Judge of MEMA
But, as we know, tropical weather can affect Massachusetts and we should learn to expect the worst.
To better understand how to plan for these types of disasters, weather education was an important part of the conference.
"Probably a little bit more on the understanding of the weather patterns that surrounded hurricanes and which side of the hurricane gets more rain as opposed to heavier winds, that's something that I learned today," said Bob Escott, the Fire Chief of Turners Falls and the Emergency Manager for the Town of Montague.
The National Hurricane Center plans to make better use of social media this year in order to help convey the threat of these horrible storms to the public.