BOSTON (CBS) – The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency director is urging residents in vulnerable coastal communities to evacuate, saying a powerful nor’easter arriving Friday is likely to destroy homes.

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During a Thursday press conference, MEMA director Kurt Schwartz said residents should not take the incoming storm lightly.

“It will be dangerous to remain in the homes,” Schwartz said. “Not only may rescue not be possible, but homes will be subject to significant structural damage. We expect to lose homes during this storm. If you’re in one of those areas, you need to get out.”

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Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said he has activated the National Guard. About 200 guardsmen will work with local and state officials during the powerful storm.

Gov. Charlie Baker discusses storm preps ahead of a major nor’easter. (WBZ-TV)

Rescue vehicles will be staged proactively in some coastal areas ahead of the nor’easter.

Flooding impacted much of the region during a January 4 blizzard, requiring several rescues.

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“I can’t stress this enough. This isn’t a snowstorm in eastern Mass, but the storm itself, especially along the coast, is shaping up to be more severe than the storm on January 4,” said Baker. “While crews were able to perform rescues in between high tide cycles in January, it’s possible first responders will be unable to reach all flooded areas at peak high tide tomorrow.”

Coastal residents are warned that the storm’s impact could be felt for several days. Residents should plan to have medicine, food, clothing, and money for an extended period.

WBZ-TV’s Mike LaCrosse reports

“If you are in one of these typically effected areas do not ride out the storm in your home if you are told to evacuate,” Baker said. “Rescue during the storm might not be possible. Staying in homes in flood prone areas puts yourself and first responders at risk.”

Baker said the storm “will impact the entire state,” though what impact is felt depends on location.

In Boston, Baker says the Seaport District, North End, and Morrissey Blvd. are likely to flood.

Other parts of the state could receive up to a foot of snow.

For more information during the storm, visit Mass211.org.

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“We are obviously no strangers to difficult and unexpected weather,” said Baker. “We fully expect the next 48 hours to be particularly challenging along the coast. So please prepare in advance and be as safe as possible.”