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September marks a time when daylight hours wane and the inevitability of fall and winter becomes increasingly apparent. In Massachusetts, this period is acknowledged as a time of planning and readiness: Governor Charlie Baker recently reaffirmed September as the Commonwealth’s Emergency Preparedness Month to ensure the state stands at the ready as we face the possibility of hurricanes, winter storms, and other ever-present emergency situations. Hurricane Florence and the Merrimack Valley gas line incident underscore why we should take notice.

Statewide Contract Resourcesare-you-ready
Part of the Operational Services Division’s responsibility to address the Commonwealth’s goods and services requirements is ensuring Statewide Contracts afford quick access to resources during times of emergency. To meet this need, several hundred Statewide Contract Vendors are designated as emergency suppliers based on their ability to expedite orders to meet the urgent needs of agencies, municipalities, and schools. OSD publishes a list of Emergency Response Supplies, Services, and Equipment Contact Information to help buyers identify and connect with our emergency suppliers. Relay questions regarding OSD’s Statewide Contracts to the OSD Contract Manager listed on the Contract User Guides or the Statewide Contract Index.
Understanding what’s available and how to get resources quickly is crucial during an emergency. “The vendors on our emergency response listing have committed to special accommodations, such as fulfilling product and service needs on a 24/7 basis or enabling buyers to pick up essential items outside of normal business hours,” states Maureen Barends, Director of Strategic Sourcing for OSD. “This is a resource you’ll want to have at your fingertips,” she continued.
Be proactive. When a disaster strikes, Internet access may be difficult. OSD recommends printing and laminating copies of this listing for use in emergency response centers and emergency response vehicles. Take time now to download the information to your smartphone, tablet, or other battery powered device for easy access during an emergency situation. Also
download the Massachusetts Alerts app, developed by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), to your smartphone or tablet to receive emergency alerts, along with public safety incident and disaster information.
MEMA Stands Ready to Assist
OSD works closely with MEMA throughout the year and especially during emergencies. “From truckloads of drinking water to batteries for flashlights, MEMA relies on Statewide Contracts for every emergency situation,” said David Mahr, MEMA Chief Administrative Officer.

For example, on the Fourth of July, MEMA worked with a Statewide Contract Vendor to obtain three pallets of water bottles – which were delivered within 24 hours and on the holiday – to help provide relief to the public safety staff (police, fire, National Guard) working the holiday celebration on the Esplanade as temperatures hovered at the 90° mark. “Statewide vendors are our partners before, during, and after incidents,” said Tina Urato, MEMA Business Management Specialist. “They go above and beyond every time!”

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