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Many people feel that emergencies and disasters are things that happen to other people, not to themselves. But the fact is that here in Massachusetts, we’ve had our share of emergencies over the past few years and often they’ve been things we were not expecting. We’ve seen tornadoes and flooding, hazardous materials incidents, water supply disruptions, outrageous winter storms, and various other events that led to sheltering in place or evacuating to a shelter. Through it all, one thing we know for certain is that individuals, families, and communities that come together and prepare for the unexpected are more resilient and better able to recover from these events, no matter what they are.

Know. Plan. Prepare.

  • Know what to do during an emergency.
  • Make a plan that includes an up-to-date contact list for those you may need to reach during an emergency and designated meeting points in case you and your family get separated.
  • Prepare by building an emergency kit that takes into account your specific needs as well as those of your family members.

Preparing for an unknown emergency may be intimidating and seem overwhelming but it’s a process, and one that doesn’t need to be accomplished overnight. In reality, we are never really finished preparing as we gain new skills to help us be informed, plan ahead, and be prepared for an emergency. And because of this you might consider preparedness a work-in-progress: something that can be approached gradually by thinking about your family’s circumstances and needs.

The Department’s Know Plan Prepare campaign in September coincides with National Preparedness Month, and we’re asking people to start taking those small, achievable steps to be prepared.

So where do you begin?

  • You can start by downloading and filling out a preparedness checklist that includes emergency contacts and meeting place information as well as a list of items recommended for an emergency kit.
  • Sign up to receive emergency alerts on your smartphone from our partners at the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).
  • And please visit mass.gov/KnowPlanPrepare where you will find additional easy-to-use tools and resources.

 

Written By:


Director, Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management

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