For Immediate Release - October 31, 2012

GOVERNOR PATRICK AUTHORIZES MEMA TO SEND EMERGENCY WORKERS TO NEW YORK TO ASSIST WITH HURRICANE RESPONSE & RECOVERY

FRAMINGHAM, MA - Governor Deval Patrick has authorized the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) to dispatch seven staff members to the New York State Emergency Operations Center in Albany to help coordinate New York's response and recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The request for assistance came through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), which facilitates member states sending personnel and equipment to help disaster relief efforts in other states.

"Compared to other states like New York, Massachusetts was spared from the harshest impacts and devastation of Hurricane Sandy," said Governor Patrick. "We have been fortunate and we want to assist other states in any way we can. These committed MEMA officials will strengthen New York's recovery efforts."

The seven MEMA staff members are Operations Manager Allen Phillips, All Hazards Planner Jennifer Carlson-Benoit, Disaster Recovery Accountant Joe Harrington, Hazard Mitigation Contract Specialist Kathryn Fatherley, Administrative Assistant Maggie McKenna, Local Coordinator Heather Tecce and Grants Management Specialist David Cruz. During this two-week deployment they will be assisting New York with Logistics and Resources.

“In recent years, MEMA has deployed staff to Alabama, Louisiana, Florida and Washington D.C. to assist in the aftermath of tornadoes, earthquakes and hurricanes," said MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz. “This is another example of how dedicated our staff is to helping those who are impacted by a disaster.”

In addition to these personnel resources, Massachusetts has deployed a search and rescue team to Connecticut and New York and sent two Blackhawk helicopters to New Jersey.

Under EMAC, the emergency forces of any state offering assistance to another state are afforded the same rights, duties and privileges as the emergency personnel of the requesting state (except for the power of arrest). EMAC also provides for clear, predictable and standardized operating procedures for member states. The requesting state is also responsible for reimbursing the assisting state for any expenses.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is the state agency responsible for coordinating federal, state, local, voluntary and private resources during emergencies and disasters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. MEMA provides leadership to: develop plans for effective response to all hazards, disasters or threats; train emergency personnel to protect the public; provide information to the citizenry; and assist individuals, families, businesses and communities to mitigate against, prepare for, and respond to and recover from emergencies, both natural and man made. For additional information about MEMA and Storm Preparedness, go to www.mass.gov/mema.

Also, continue to follow MEMA updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MassEMA; Facebook at www.facebook.com/MassachusettsEMA; and YouTube at www.youtube.com/MassachusettsEMA. Download the free ping4alert! app to your Smartphone to receive important weather alerts and messages from MEMA.  Easy instructions are available at www.mass.gov/mema/mobileappp.