FRAMINGHAM, MA: Office of the Gov reports — Governor Charlie Baker has proclaimed September 2019 as Emergency Preparedness Month to encourage individuals and families to prepare for emergencies and disasters. The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), the Department of Public Health (DPH), and the American Red Cross in Massachusetts, together with their partners will promote emergency preparedness throughout the month through various outreach initiatives. These efforts are part of a month-long nationwide preparedness campaign to encourage residents to take simple steps to better prepare themselves, their homes, their businesses, and their communities.

“As Massachusetts and the rest of the nation continue to confront natural disasters that cause major disruptions for our communities, we encourage residents to spend time this September preparing for a potential emergency or disaster,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Increased preparedness will improves public health and safety, and can help minimize property damage and the economic impact of when disaster strikes.”

“Through the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Public Health and other state agencies, our administration remains committed to working with cities and towns across the Commonwealth and other government partners to strengthen our preparedness for the next disaster,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We encourage the Commonwealth’s residents, communities and businesses to take steps to prepare before the next emergency.”

“The best defense for an emergency is being properly prepared,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. “As we recognize Emergency Preparedness Month, we encourage individuals now and every day to take proactive steps to safeguard their future health should a disaster occur.”

“When it comes to preparedness, there is no time like the present,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “This September, take a few moments to think about the specific needs your family may have in the event of an emergency such as a blackout or severe weather, and how you can prepare now to ensure those needs are met.”

“Preparedness Month is an important reminder that we should all take time now to be ready in case an emergency occurs,” said Holly Grant, CEO of the American Red Cross in Massachusetts. “Talking with our families and households about what to do in case something happens gives everyone peace of mind. Small steps taken now, like making a home escape plan, can make a huge difference when a disaster strikes”

“There are a variety of hazards and threats that can cause damage and impact residents in Massachusetts,” said Public Safety and Security Secretary Thomas Turco. “Residents can improve their personal safety and build community resilience by knowing their risks, preparing for them in advance, and knowing what to do in an emergency.”

“Emergency Preparedness Month is an opportunity to prepare for the emergencies that may occur in communities across the Commonwealth,” said MEMA Director Samantha Phillips.“Recent tornadoes in July have shown the importance of receiving timely emergency alerts and taking protective actions during dangerous severe weather. September is a time to refocus our attention on ensuring we have a prepared and resilient Commonwealth.” 

During September, MEMA, DPH and the Red Cross will share information on their respective social media accounts about emergency preparedness topics including financial preparedness, emergency planning, youth preparedness, planning for those with access and functional needs, ways to get involved in community preparedness, and more. These agencies and organizations will host a joint Facebook Live preparedness event on September 9th.

MEMA will also support various emergency preparedness events across the state and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation will feature signage along highways to raise awareness.

MEMA’s website, www.mass.gov/mema, features information about the hazards common in Massachusetts and resources to help prepare for emergencies: 1) Be Informed and Receive Emergency Alerts, 2) Plan for Emergencies and Disasters, 3) Build an Emergency Kit, and 4) Get Involved. Residents of the Commonwealth are encouraged to participate in preparedness activities and use these preparedness resources to help prepare themselves, their family, their property, and their community.

About MEMA

MEMA is the state agency charged with ensuring the state is prepared to withstand, respond to, and recover from all types of emergencies and disasters, including natural hazards, accidents, deliberate attacks, and technological and infrastructure failures. MEMA’s staff of professional planners, communications specialists and operations and support personnel is committed to an all hazards approach to emergency management. By building and sustaining effective partnerships with federal, state and local government agencies, and with the private sector – individuals, families, non-profits and businesses – MEMA ensures the Commonwealth’s ability to rapidly recover from large and small disasters by assessing and mitigating threats and hazards, enhancing preparedness, ensuring effective response, and strengthening our capacity to rebuild and recover. For additional information about MEMA and Emergency Preparedness, go to www.mass.gov/mema.