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Press Release  Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Celebrates 60th Bunker Birthday

Legislators, senior officials, and the public tour the underground bunker that serves as MEMA headquarters and learn about the evolution of emergency management in the Commonwealth
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  • Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency

Media Contact   for Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Celebrates 60th Bunker Birthday

Sara Porter, Public Information Officer

Senior officials provide opening remarks at MEMA's Bunker Birthday celebration

FRAMINGHAMThe Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) celebrated 60 years since the opening of its underground headquarters in Framingham by opening the doors of the bunker to the public and welcoming visitors for tours, displays, and demonstrations on November 4 to highlight the history of the facility and the state’s emergency management capabilities.

The bunker opened on November 16, 1963, as a result of a plan former President John F. Kennedy developed for each state to have a facility to ensure continuity of state government following a nuclear attack. Kennedy’s home state of Massachusetts was the first in the nation to open an underground blast-proof State Emergency Operations Center.

“Much of the work that MEMA does to ensure the state is prepared to withstand, respond to, and recover from all types of emergencies and disasters happens behind the scenes,” said Governor Maura Healey. “It’s wonderful to see MEMA showcase its unique headquarters and provide the public an opportunity to meet some of the people who are instrumental in preparing and protecting our residents and visitors.”

“The history of the bunker is fascinating, and we are incredibly fortunate in Massachusetts to have a robust emergency management program thanks to the strong partnerships across state agencies and with federal, non-profit, and private sector organizations,” said Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll.

More than 600 guests attended the Bunker Birthday event, which included a “mini-museum” of Massachusetts Civil Defense artifacts and a “touch-a-truck” with emergency management assets from MEMA, as well as the state’s Department of Fire Services, Department of Public Health, Department of Transportation, Department of Conservation and Recreation, Department of Environmental Protection, State Police, National Guard, and voluntary organization partners, including the Massachusetts Red Cross, Salvation Army, and Middlesex Disaster Animal Response Team.

“The MEMA Bunker has a remarkable history. Saturday’s celebration offers an important opportunity to reflect on the evolution of emergency management and the instrumental role MEMA serves in strengthening the Commonwealth’s preparedness and resiliency,” said Public Safety and Security Secretary Terrence Reidy. “I want to thank Director Brantley and the MEMA team for their hard work, adaptability, strong partnership, and significant contribution to keeping Massachusetts safe.”

“I am thrilled to welcome the public to celebrate 60 years of the bunker, which serves as home to the State Emergency Operations Center – a hub for coordination in response to events ranging from blizzards to tornadoes to the Boston Marathon,” said MEMA Director Dawn Brantley. “I extend my sincere thanks to all of those who came out to celebrate with us today, particularly our partner agencies that displayed a number of resources and capabilities that we regularly call upon in preparing for and responding to a variety of threats and hazards.”

Guest speakers included FEMA Region 1 Administrator Lori Ehrlich and Senator Marc Pacheco, who co-chairs the Joint Committee on Emergency Preparedness and Management.


Media Contact   for Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Celebrates 60th Bunker Birthday

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    Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency ensures the state is prepared to withstand, respond to and recover from all types of emergencies and disasters.
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