Myra Berloff , Director

UPDATE: The Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) is proud to announce that its Personal Emergency Preparedness Program recently received an “Honorable Mention” in the Awareness to Action category from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) 2012 Individual and Community Preparedness Awards. The Awareness to Action category recognized entities that use effective messaging techniques to not only raise awareness about hazards and disaster preparedness, but also persuades members of the general public to take action to prepare themselves, their families, and their communities. For the past five years, MOD has received federal funding through the state’s Executive Office of Public Safety and Security to conduct community meetings throughout Massachusetts, bringing together people with disabilities, their local emergency planners, and first responders to discuss personal and community preparedness plans.

Since 2007, MOD has conducted over 125 personal preparedness meetings throughout the state and interacted with almost 5,600 people. MOD has handed out over 4,600 personal preparedness go-packs, 950 “Tips for First Responders on How to Interact with People with Disabilities in Times of Emergency”, and more than 6,000 personal preparedness planning guides. The success of the program has been noted by the waiting list MOD keeps from local groups that are asking to hold these meetings and the overwhelmingly positive feedback provided by meeting participants.

-----------About The Program-----------

The Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) is hosting meetings to bring together people with disabilities and local emergency preparedness professionals. The purpose of these meetings is to explore how to ensure that people with disabilities have the assistance they need in times of emergency.

  • An ice storm leaves the region without electricity.

  • Fire in an industrial plant forces evacuation of surrounding communities.

  • A train jumps the tracks, releasing a cloud of toxic chemicals.

Communities across the Commonwealth are planning for emergency situations like these, some are natural and others are man-made; some require evacuation while others require sheltering at home.

Members of the disability community will learn about the emergency response resources and procedures within their local communities and the steps that can be taken personally to prepare for emergency situations.

The meetings discuss items needed for an "Emergency Go Pack" that would have essential items that might be needed during an emergency.

Meetings are being held throughout the Commonwealth. If you would like MOD to host one of these meetings for your organization or group, please feel free to contact Jeffrey L. Dougan, Assistant Director for Community Services at (800) 322-2020 or email Jeffrey at jeff.dougan@state.ma.us.  

 

-----------Testimonial-----------

"I just wanted to thank you for the “Emergency Go Packs” you handed out in Chicopee a couple of months ago.

So far my wife and I have had to use them twice in as many months. The first when the tornado hit the Springfield area on June 1st and the 2nd when Chicopee was hit with a micro-burst about a month later.

Being prepared sure came handy both times. My grandson has always called me when severe weather approaches and we had brought him home the day of the tornado. He now feels even more secure knowing his grandfather is more prepared for what may come along.

Was ready again this afternoon when the earthquake started to shake the area. Thank God it was not severe but thank you people at the MOD for helping the disabilities community. You have been there for the disabled again and again.” Frank from Chicopee

 

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Funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Grants and Training, through the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, Homeland Security Division.