MEMA is pleased to share the recently completed Statewide Mass Care Shelter Coordination Plan and Local Shelter Toolkit. The plan and toolkit were developed over the past year through a collaborative process with both local and state level stakeholders with the goal of more effectively supporting local, regional, and statewide shelter planning and response, including the needs of all of our population.
While sheltering in Massachusetts starts at the local level and is driven by local needs, this plan sets forth a common vision and guiding principles to improve shelter coordination, support, and information sharing across the Commonwealth. The plan describes local mass care and shelter options that communities may provide such as personal care sites (warming or cooling centers), locally-initiated overnight shelters, and locally-initiated multi-community (or regional) shelters. The coordination plan also introduces the concept of State Initiated Regional Shelters, or SIRS.
SIRS are intended to serve multiple communities and to provide larger scale sheltering services when local capacities are exceeded and/or to maximize the use of resources and staffing to operate shelters across the Commonwealth. Initiated by MEMA and operated by the American Red Cross, these shelters are intended to provide full sheltering services.
MEMA will be reaching out to our local partners to work with the plan and provide support for the local shelter planning toolkit. In the interim, should you have any questions please feel free to contact your MEMA regional office or the MEMA Planning Unit.
Statewide Mass Care Shelter Coordination Plan
Local Shelter Toolkit