- Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency
Media Contact for MEMA Deploys Emergency Workers to Assist with Hurricane Florence Response and Recovery
Christopher Besse, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency
FRAMINGHAM — The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) today announced that four public safety personnel from Massachusetts have deployed to assist in hurricane Florence response and recovery efforts. Two personnel have deployed to North Carolina, one has deployed to Virginia and another has deployed to FEMA’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. The requests for assistance came through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), which is the national emergency management mutual aid system that facilitates state-to-state disaster assistance.
“The Commonwealth is prepared to offer personnel and resources to support our fellow Americans preparing for Hurricane Florence,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are proud of these employees who are willing to serve in this emergency capacity and look forward to their safe return home.”
MEMA employees Allen Phillips and David Bryant have deployed to North Carolina’s State Emergency Operations Center to assist with the EMAC process, including coordinating mutual aid from other states. The employees traveled to North Carolina on September 9th and are expected to be deployed until September 21st.
MEMA employee Maggie Fiola has deployed to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management to provide logistics and resource management support at the Virginia State Emergency Operations Center. The deployment is expected to last until September 23rd.
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) employee Cathy Kiley has deployed to the National Response Coordination Center (NRCC) in Washington, DC. where she is serving as an EMAC liaison to FEMA, the National Guard Bureau and other federal agencies.
“The deployment of these emergency management personnel from Massachusetts will assist North Carolina, Virginia, and FEMA with the coordination of disaster relief efforts,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We will continue to look for opportunities to meet the needs of, and support the impacted states, their communities, and their residents.”
“In the last year, MEMA has deployed staff to Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Hawaii to assist in the aftermath of natural disasters, and we continue to support this tradition of providing aid to others in need,” said Secretary of Public Safety Dan Bennett. “We thank these emergency management personnel who have offered to assist in this hurricane response effort.”
“State-to-state mutual aid through EMAC is an integral component of the nation’s disaster response and recovery systems,” said MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz. “We have used EMAC as a force multiplier in previous disasters in Massachusetts, including the historic winter storms in 2015, and we look for opportunities to deploy our experienced and dedicated staff to other states to support their disaster response and recovery operations.”
“MassDEP is committed to working with our emergency management partners at the state, territory and federal level to provide assistance and personnel during disasters.” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg.
MEMA continues to monitor the EMAC system and look for opportunities to offer personnel, equipment and resources to states impacted by Hurricane Florence.
The Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) is an interstate mutual aid agreement among all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. EMAC enables a Governor (through State Emergency Management officials) to request disaster assistance such as personnel and equipment from other states before, during, or after a disaster. Impacted states looking for assistance broadcast resource requests through the EMAC system and other states may offer to fill the requests if they have the necessary resources. The requesting state then chooses which assisting state’s offer to accept. The requesting state is responsible for reimbursing the sending state for associated expenses.
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. For additional information about MEMA and Emergency Preparedness, go to www.mass.gov/mema.
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 free Massachusetts Alerts app. To learn more about Massachusetts Alerts, and for information on how to download the free app onto your smartphone, visit: www.mass.gov/mema/mobileapp.