For Immediate Release - October 10, 2013

MASSACHUSETTS’ EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT PROGRAM RECEIVES NATIONAL REACCREDITATION

Framingham, MA – The Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Emergency Management Program has received full reaccreditation by the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP).  This signifies that the Commonwealth’s Emergency Management Program, led by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) meets or exceeds national standards for emergency management and response.

“Reaccreditation affirms that the Commonwealth has a comprehensive emergency management program that meets stringent national standards,’ said MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz.  “The reaccreditation process, which involved a close examination of all aspects of our emergency management program and capabilities, validated all the hard work and effort that emergency management partners from state, local, federal, private sector and non-for profit organizations perform on a daily basis to protect the people of Massachusetts from natural and man-made disasters.”

This recognition places the Massachusetts in elite company.  Of the 30 states with full accreditation, the Commonwealth is one of only 14 to be reaccredited.  Massachusetts’s initial accreditation occurred in November 2006. 

EMAP is a voluntary national accreditation process for state, territorial and local government programs that coordinate preparedness and response activities for natural and man-made disasters ranging from floods to terrorism. It recognizes the ability of a state or local government to bring together personnel, resources and communications from a variety of agencies and organizations in preparation for and in response to any emergency. The EMAP accreditation program is sponsored by several nationally recognized agencies such as the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). 

The EMAP process evaluates emergency management programs on compliance with 64 national standards in 16 functional areas, including: planning; resource management; training; exercises; evaluations and corrective actions; and communications and warning. MEMA was the lead agency responsible for ensuring the state’s accreditation, which is a means of demonstrating through program examination, documentation and on-site assessment by an independent team that a program meets national standards. To comply, the program met stringent criteria and went through a rigorous yearlong program of evaluation, documentation and review.  EMAP is the only full accreditation process for state and local emergency management and is limited to a review of written plans for each of these areas.

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.