The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) today announced that a 26-person medical team from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) will be deploying to Puerto Rico to assist in providing medical care on the island. The request for assistance from Puerto Rico came through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), which is the national emergency management mutual aid system that facilitates state-to-state disaster assistance.\n\n\u201cWe are proud of Massachusetts General Hospital and its medical professionals for stepping up to help Puerto Rico during a time of need,\u201d said Governor Charlie Baker. \u201cThe Commonwealth continues to provide logistical, security and medical personnel and resources to assist those recovering from devastating hurricanes in Puerto Rico, and disasters across the nation.\u201d\n\nThe 26-person medical team includes 15 nurses, four nurse practitioners, five doctors, one physician assistant, and one logistics/security staff. The team will deploy on November 25th and is expected to be deployed for 16 days. The deployment was coordinated by MEMA, Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), and MGH.\n\n\u201cThese medical personnel from Massachusetts will provide residents of Puerto Rico with necessary medical care,\u201d said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. \u201cWe continue to take steps to help those impacted by recent natural disasters and urge everyone who wants to help support disaster relief operations do so through cash donations to organizations listed on the state\u2019s website.\u201d\n\n\u201cWe are honored by this opportunity to partner with the Commonwealth, and to work with MEMA and DPH on this very important mission,\u201d said Paul Biddinger, MD, director of the Center for Disaster Medicine at MGH. \u201cOur nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and physicians are eager for the opportunity to assist Puerto Rico as it continues to recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria, and we are so proud of their willingness to help all of those in need.\u201d\n\n\u201cThese medical personnel deploying under EMAC continue the tradition of Massachusetts providing assistance to others after disasters,\u201d said Secretary of Public Safety Dan Bennett. \u201cWe thank the deploying personnel who have offered to support relief efforts in Puerto Rico.\u201d\n\n``We are pleased to coordinate with MEMA on the deployment of a multidisciplinary medical team through EMAC,\u201d said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH.\u00a0 \u201cPuerto Rico has many public health needs since Hurricane Maria, and MGH has volunteered a well-prepared cadre of medical professionals to support and treat a host of complicated medical needs under challenging conditions.\u201d\n\n\u201cWe have deployed numerous teams to assist the states and territories impacted by major disasters over the last few months,\u201d said MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz. \u201cI thank Massachusetts General Hospital and their employees for their willingness to deliver medical care to disaster survivors in Puerto Rico.\u201d\n\nMEMA continues to monitor the EMAC system and look for opportunities to offer personnel, equipment and resources to Puerto Rico and other areas impacted by recent disasters.\n\n\u00a0\n\nOther Recent Disaster Response Activities:\n\nOn November 9th, MEMA announced the deployment of 4 state and local employees from Massachusetts to Puerto Rico to assist in hurricane recovery efforts. Two personnel deployed to Puerto Rico through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), which is the national emergency management mutual aid system that facilitates state-to-state disaster assistance. Two other personnel are detailed to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist in the federal response to the hurricanes in Puerto Rico.\n\nOn October 25th, MEMA and the Massachusetts National Guard announced the mobilization of 15 soldiers from Massachusetts to Puerto Rico to assist in hurricane recovery efforts. The soldiers are providing public affairs support for current National Guard members operating in Puerto Rico, including processing media requests, preparing media advisories and stories, producing videos, taking and collecting photographs, and providing media escorts in the field.\n\nOn October 18th, MEMA announced the deployment of 5 state and local employees to join FEMA\u2019s disaster response workforce. The employees, who are working under FEMA\u2019s supervision, are helping deliver federal disaster support to survivors and communities in Florida and Puerto Rico.\n\nOn October 16th, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the deployment of a 10-person Emergency Operations Center support team to Puerto Rico for hurricane response and recovery. While deployed in Puerto Rico, the team worked with the Central Island Coordination Task Force coordinating the delivery of goods and services across the island. The team included three MEMA employees and seven members of the Northwest Massachusetts Incident Management Team (NWMIMT).\n\nOn October 4th, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the deployment of 69 local and state law enforcement officers to Puerto Rico for hurricane response and recovery. The first 24 officers arrived in Puerto Rico on October 7th,\u00a0the second cadre of 24 officers arrived in Puerto Rico on October 18th, and the final group of 21 officers arrived in Puerto Rico on November 1st. While in Puerto Rico, the law enforcement officers assisted with traffic and security duties. 13 Massachusetts State Police cruisers were also sent to Puerto Rico for use by the deployed officers.\n\nGovernor Baker, Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Representative Jeffrey S\u00e1nchez and members of the Boston Foundation also announced the Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico Fund to support and respond to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricanes Maria and Irma. The fund has been formed in partnership with the Latino Legacy fund and in cooperation with the Alliance for Puerto Rico. Funds raised will be distributed for reconstruction and relief on the island of Puerto Rico and to support self-evacuees arriving in Massachusetts from Puerto Rico for temporary or permanent residence.\n\nOn September 10th, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the deployment to Florida of a three-person Emergency Operations Center (EOC) team comprised of employees from MEMA and the Department of Environmental Protection, and a nine-person nursing team from Beth Israel Hospital to assist with response and recovery efforts for Hurricane Irma.\n\nThe Baker-Polito Administration has developed network of public, private and non-profit sector service providers that is working around the clock to ensure that the state is supporting the thousands of Puerto Ricans who have self-evacuated the island since Hurricane Maria to seek temporary or permanent residence in Massachusetts.\n\nVolunteers \u0026 Donations:\n\nDonations - Donating cash to recognized disaster relief organizations is the best way to help people in need after a disaster. Cash donations are efficient, flexible to use, and require no transportation. Consider donating to the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, or other disaster relief organization that is a member of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD): https://www.nvoad.org/current-disasters/werespond/\nVolunteers \u2013 Those looking to volunteer are encouraged to get involved with an established disaster relief organization. This ensures that volunteer efforts are coordinated and that the needs of disaster communities and survivors are met. People are asked not to self-deploy to a disaster area. Information on volunteering is available through the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD): https://www.nvoad.org/current-disasters/werespond/ \nAbout MEMA\n\nMEMA 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\u0027s 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\u0027s 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.\n\nContinue to follow MEMA updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MassEMA; Facebook at www.facebook.com/MassachusettsEMA; YouTube at www.youtube.com/MassachusettsEMA.\n\nMassachusetts 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.