Welcome to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). 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.

Emergency management is a shared responsibility: government cannot effectively build resilience to disasters by itself. Individuals, families and communities must work to mitigate risks, prepare themselves and their communities for disasters, build local relationships and partnerships that will help government agencies respond to, and care for those impacted by disasters, and develop the capacity for short-term and long-term recovery from disasters.

I urge you to use the resources on MEMA's website to develop individual, family and business preparedness plans: you need to be prepared for disasters. Now is the time to build disaster kits, establish communication plans, and decide what you will do, and where you will go in the event of a disaster.

I also urge you to follow MEMA on Facebook and Twitter, download our free ping4alerts smartphone app, and use the resources on our website www.mass.gov/mema. These resources will provide you timely information on severe weather and other events that may impact your safety and community. Your city or town, and its emergency management director, also are great resources as you prepare for, or deal with disasters.

Be prepared and stay informed, and help your neighbors and community prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters.