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Since 2007, MOD has been hosting Personal Emergency Preparedness meetings throughout the Commonwealth (visit our webpage at www.mass.gov/mod/prepare).  This program is funded through a grant that MOD receives from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Grants and Training, through the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, Homeland Security Division.  September is recognized as “National Preparedness Month,” so we wanted to share some insights and successes of our program.

The purpose of our Personal Emergency Preparedness meetings and presentations is to inform people on how best to organize before an emergency. Participants receive a resource informational packet, a personal emergency planning workbook, and an emergency go-kit. We partner with local emergency management teams and first responders to provide information about local emergency planning efforts as well as answer any questions that residents may have. Having emergency personnel present adds value and also helps build a face to face relationship between officials and community members.

During the meetings we share informational materials with the participants. One item is our emergency      go-pack, which is full of essential items that might be needed during an emergency, such as a flashlight, radio, water, first aid kit, and many more items. To date, we have distributed over 10,600 go-packs to persons with disabilities.

We distribute our Personal Emergency Preparedness Workbook that helps people plan for all types of emergencies as well as documenting important information that may be needed. To date we have distributed over 12,300 guides. The Supplemental Information Packet that discusses resources and information about State related services is also distributed at these meetings to complement the workbooks.

For first responders, we provide an informational tool that discusses appropriate measures to allow successful interaction between, and communication tips for, the interaction of first responders and persons with disabilities during an emergency. Multiple “Tips for First Responders on How to Interact with People with Disabilities,” produced by the University of New Mexico, has been given to each first responder present to be used locally. To date, over 4,500 of the booklets have been distributed.

For more information on how your community can host an Emergency Preparedness meeting, please contact Jeff Dougan by phone at (617)-727-7440 x27316 or by email at Jeff.Dougan@mass.gov.

DaLonn Pearson conducting an Emergency Preparedness Training in Melrose, MA

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