- Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency
Media Contact for State Officials Tour Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency’s Logistics and Distribution Warehouse
Sara Porter, Public Information Officer
BOSTON — Today, state officials from the Healey-Driscoll Administration, the Joint Committee on Emergency Preparedness and Management, and members of the Massachusetts National Guard toured the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) warehouse in Franklin to view storage operations and learn about the Agency’s logistic capabilities. During the tour, participants including Representative William J. Driscoll, Jr., Senator Rebecca L. Rausch, and Senator Michael D. Brady, discussed MEMA’s robust disaster logistics program and reflected on the many lessons learned from the global health emergency.
At the beginning of 2020, before the full emergence of COVID-19, MEMA identified and prioritized the need for a statewide logistics program. The pandemic’s shortages and supply chain disruptions, especially in personal protective equipment (PPE) and rapid tests, spurred the Agency to meet that objective ahead of schedule and on a much larger scale than anticipated. During the pandemic, MEMA facilitated the distribution of more than 81 million pieces of PPE and more than 12 million rapid COVID-19 test kits from this facility on behalf of several state partners.
To ensure this achievement will be a lasting, permanent enhancement to the Commonwealth’s disaster response capabilities, the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) Budget proposes a $173,000, or 4%, increase to MEMA, which provides funding to support warehouse operations, including the lease of the 75,000-square-foot facility.
“MEMA’s operations have been critical in providing first responders and essential workers with emergency supplies and services in their time of greatest need,” said Governor Maura Healey. “Our Administration’s first budget invests in vital emergency management strategies and critical life-saving supplies, reinforcing our commitment to the readiness and resiliency of communities across Massachusetts.”
“As a former mayor, I know firsthand how municipal leaders relied on the state’s assistance at the height of the pandemic to meet urgent local needs by providing essential supplies under unprecedented circumstances,” said Lieutenant Governor Kimberley Driscoll. “I am profoundly aware of the importance of MEMA’s logistical and distribution capabilities because the success of our healthcare workers, first responders, schools, and communities depend on it. Our Administration proudly supports MEMA’s life-saving work in our FY24 budget.”
“MEMA’s comprehensive logistics program and strategic supply warehouse represents an operational milestone in our tireless efforts to strengthen the Commonwealth’s emergency preparedness,” said Public Safety and Security Secretary Terrence Reidy. “The Administration’s FY24 Budget supports MEMA’s deeply impactful public safety mission and fundamentally invests in the health, safety, and well-being of all who live, work, and raise families in Massachusetts.”
“The Franklin warehouse has been an indispensable resource in our response to the pandemic, but beyond the context of COVID, state funding for the warehouse enables MEMA to maintain our disaster logistics program that currently supports multiple state agencies and state priority missions,” said MEMA Acting Director Dawn Brantley. “The logistics warehouse stores supplies, vehicles, trailers and equipment that MEMA deploys to support state and local emergency response and recovery operations. The Franklin facility is also home to our Regional Emergency Operations Center, which is used by regional field staff to coordinate with and support communities in Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Nantucket, Norfolk and Plymouth counties before, during, and after disasters and emergencies.”
MEMA assumed occupancy of the 75,000-square-foot Franklin space in August 2020. In addition to stockpiling, sorting, and distributing PPE and other equipment across the region, the warehouse provides needed surge capabilities to receive and distribute consumable supplies quickly. All-hazards response equipment is also available, including a field emergency operations center, 250-bed field hospital, human and animal emergency shelter supplies, equipment to support people with disabilities, mobile field tents, sign boards, light towers, portable power and communications equipment, as well as a stockpile of emergency commodities, including meals ready-to-eat (MREs) and sandbags. Investments of federal funds in material handling equipment, shelving, and electronic inventory management software have grown the warehouse into an efficient and effective statewide solution for receiving, storing, and distributing emergency equipment and supplies.