BOSTON STRONG news – Boston, MA: Office of the Mayor reports 9.03.2019

BOSTON – Tuesday, September 3, 2019 – In recognition of National Preparedness Month, which began on September 1, Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that the City of Boston has been selected to receive a $1.4 million Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant, issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). 

Boston was one out of eight cities in the country selected for this grant, and along with the City of San Francisco, received the largest amount awarded of the $10 million program. With this grant funding, Boston aims to build state and local capacity to manage catastrophic incidents, particularly around disaster housing by improving and expanding regional collaboration for catastrophic incident preparedness.

“I am pleased that the City of Boston has been selected to receive this grant that will allow us to proactively prepare and build up our emergency response to protect our city and our residents,” said Mayor Walsh. “National Preparedness Month provides the ideal opportunity for residents to evaluate individual and family plans in the event of an emergency. Resident safety in the City of Boston is non-negotiable and we encourage all residents to take simple, preventative steps to ensure their safety and preparedness.”

The Office of Emergency Management recognizes the inherent value of collaborative regional planning for catastrophic events. The Office of Emergency Management will serve as the lead for engagement  with regional, state and private stakeholders around disaster housing. The grant award will help facilitate those discussions and help inform planning from a regional perspective. The plan aims to use shared interest to help identify ways to leverage stakeholder resources in a coordinated response. 

Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) within the Department of Homeland Security, National Preparedness Month encourages Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools and communities.

The Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) recommends the following measures for National Preparedness Month:

Make a Plan: Your family might not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to coordinate ahead of time and plan for the following:

  • Create and practice a family communications plan in case you are separated during an emergency.
  • Select a family meeting spot where everyone can go in case you are separated.
  • Learn where the closest emergency shelter is located in your neighborhood. Visit: https://www.boston.gov/departments/emergency-management to access a map of the City of Boston Emergency Shelters.

Make a Kit: An emergency supply kit should provide a collection of basic items that household members would need in the event of a disaster. This kit can be used if residents have to leave their homes during an emergency, or in case of an extended power outage.

Below is a list of recommended items for an emergency supply kit:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days;
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food;
  • Can opener for food;
  • First aid kit;
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio;
  • Flashlight with extra batteries;
  • Moist towelettes and garbage bags for personal sanitation;
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air;
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities;
  • Supplies for your pets – water, food, leash and collar.

Stay Informed: Reliable and accurate information is essential before, during and after an emergency. Residents are encouraged to connect to the following resources:

OEM is the agency responsible for ensuring the City of Boston has plans to prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from all types of emergencies and disasters. During emergencies, OEM operates the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) where City agencies gather to share critical information, respond to resource requests and coordinate response for managing an incident.