MEMA Encourages Residents to Be Informed and Receive Emergency Alerts
Emergency Preparedness Month is the Time to Enroll in Alerting Systems
FRAMINGHAM, MA – Throughout Emergency Preparedness Month, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is promoting the importance of individual, family and community preparedness. An important component of emergency preparedness is ‘Being Informed’. “It is critical for residents to be informed about the threats and hazards that may impact them, their families, and their community, know how to receive emergency alerts and information during disasters, and be familiar with their community’s emergency plans,” said MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz. “These are important steps in preparing your family and building resilience.”Massachusetts is susceptible to many natural hazards, including floods, hurricanes and tropical storms, severe winter weather, tornadoes, coastal storms, thunderstorms, earthquakes, lightning, extreme temperatures, and many others. In addition, man-made disasters can also occur, including hazardous materials incidents, nuclear power plant incidents, power outages, transportation accidents, water supply problems, terrorism and others. Being aware of, and understanding the different types of incidents that can occur is a critical part of being prepared for emergencies.
Receiving timely public safety information allows you to take necessary protective actions to keep you and your family safe. Residents should have multiple ways to receive emergency alerts and information from public officials before and during emergencies. Some hazards such as hurricanes and blizzards have advance notice, while others such as tornados and earthquakes have little or no notice. Residents should proactively identify, and when necessary, subscribe to several information sources. This will ensure that you receive timely information, especially since some information sources may be disrupted during an emergency. For example, power outages may cause disruptions to television, radio and internet systems. Some of the primary ways to get information during an emergency include:
- Local notification systems such as “Reverse 9-1-1” or “Code Red.” Check with local public safety officials about which systems are used in your community and whether registration is required.
- Commercial media (TV and radio).
- MEMA’s Massachusetts Alerts smartphone app.
- MEMA’s Twitter or Facebook accounts and the social media accounts of public safety agencies in your community.
- MEMA’s website: www.mass.gov/mema and your local community government website.
- The Emergency Alert System (EAS) which delivers emergency information via radio and television.
- Wireless Emergency Alerts.
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio.
- U.S. Coast Guard Marine Broadcast.
- Outdoor Electronic Billboards.
- Teletypewriters (TTY) used by people with hearing impairments.
- Massachusetts 2-1-1 (for non-emergency assistance). 2-1-1 is the Commonwealth’s primary call center during emergencies; the center provides information on emergency resources such as shelter locations.
You should also be informed about your community’s emergency plans, including evacuation routes and shelter locations. If you live or work in a coastal community, you should learn whether you are in a designated hurricane evacuation zone. To learn whether your home, business, or school is in a hurricane evacuation zone, use the interactive “Know Your Zone” map on MEMA’s website.
Massachusetts residents are encouraged to visit www.mass.gov/mema/ready to obtain more information about how to prepare for emergencies and disasters.
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 Massachusetts Alerts free 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.