For Immediate Release - September 29, 2015

MEMA Encourages Individuals to 'Get Involved' as Part of Massachusetts Emergency Preparedness Month

FRAMINGHAM, MA – Over the last month, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has encouraged individuals, families and communities to prepare for disasters by being informed, developing emergency plans, and assembling critical supplies in disaster kits.  As Massachusetts Emergency Preparedness Month comes to a close, MEMA is promoting the importance of “Getting Involved” in building community resilience.

“Finding ways to get involved will help your community build resilience and prepare for the next disaster. There are many ways you can make this important contribution including volunteering, donating or helping your neighbors.” states MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz.

‘Get Involved’ before disaster strikes!

Volunteer:

  • Volunteer for your community’s or region’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and receive training in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operation. There are over 100 CERT programs in Massachusetts. For a list of teams near you, visit: https://www.citizencorps.fema.gov/cc/searchCert.do?submitByZip.
  • Volunteer your services with a Medical Reserve Corps program to provide support during a public health emergency. For a list of programs near you, visit: http://www.mamedicalreservecorps.org/.
  • Become involved in the Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) Program, which is a national program that serves as a gateway to law enforcement volunteer programs. The program's goal is to enhance the capacity of state and local law enforcement to utilize volunteers. For additional information on the VIPS program, go to http://www.policevolunteers.org/volunteer/.
  • Check with your local police or fire department, or emergency management agency, about other local volunteer opportunities.
  • Get trained in CPR and Basic First Aid and volunteer with your local American Red Cross Chapter.
  • Seek out local faith-based and community organizations, which may have disaster support programs.
  • Find a volunteer opportunity with a non-profit organization that is affiliated with the Massachusetts Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD).
  • Find out more about the American Radio Relay League, which supports the advancement of Amateur Radio Service and trains individuals interested in learning the skill of operating ham radios.

Donate:

  • Support disaster recovery efforts by donating cash or goods to disaster relief organizations that help meet community needs in times of disaster. Learn more.

Help your Neighbor:

  • Join or start a preparedness project. Find an event or identify local resources, build a team, choose a project, set goals and serve your community by improving the preparedness of your friends, colleagues and neighbors. Get started.

These are only a few of the many ways that individuals and community organizations can “Get Involved” in helping communities, prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters. For additional opportunities in your community, contact your local emergency management or public safety officials.

 

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 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, coordinating response operations, and strengthening our capacity to rebuild and recover.

For additional information about MEMA, go to www.mass.gov/mema. Also, follow MEMA on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MassEMA; Facebook at www.facebook.com/MassachusettsEMA; and YouTube at www.youtube.com/MassachusettsEMA.

Massachusetts Alerts: to receive emergency information on your smartphone, including severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service and emergency information from MEMA, download the Massachusetts Alerts free app. To learn more about Massachusetts Alerts, and for additional information on how to download the free app onto your smartphone, visit: www.mass.gov/mema/mobileapp

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