Be Informed


To be informed, people should know about what types of disasters are most likely to occur where they live.

Natural and man-made disasters can strike at any time. New Bedford is susceptible to many natural hazards including winter weather and blizzards, hurricanes and tropical storms, flooding, coastal storms, thunderstorms, lightning, tornadoes, severe weather, and many others. In addition, man-made disasters can also occur including hazardous materials incidents, power outages, transportation accidents, terrorism and others. Being aware of the different types of incidents that can occur is a critical part of being prepared for emergencies.

Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.

To learn more about many of these hazards and the appropriate ways to respond to them, use the corresponding links under “Emergencies and Disasters” or the stand-along “Winter Storm” and “Hurricane” pages. When you know what to do, you can plan with your household and prepare in advance to BE READY before the emergency.

In addition to being informed of the types of disasters that could occur and how to respond, staying informed leading up to and during an emergency is also critical. While many events have little to no notice, hurricanes, blizzards and other weather events do have some advance notice. Be aware of severe weather watches and warnings and understand what they mean.

These watches and warnings can be obtained from media sources, the National Weather Service (see our Weather Info link), and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Weather Radio. You can also receive ping4alerts provided by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) for severe weather or other emergency events near you on your iPhone or Android mobile device.

During emergencies, information may be available from a number of sources.

It is important to be prepared to get information in several ways since not all methods are used for all emergencies, and power outages and other effects of the disaster may cause disruptions in how people get information. Some of the primary ways to get information in New Bedford before, during and after an emergency or disaster include:

Local commercial media (TV, radio stations (WBSM – AM1420) and newspaper (Standard-Times)

New Bedford Cable Access – Government Access Channel 18

City of New Bedford’s Web Site: