October 3rd: Preparedness Month Materials Are Still Available

Preparedness month may be over, but the materials are relevant year round!

You can still get access to great preparedness materials through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management (MDPH OPEM) by clicking this link: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/programs/emergency-prep/personal-prep/

Here you will find Emergency Preparedness checklists, links for free preparedness materials, tools for individual and family preparedness, and Captain Chaos videos! Most importantly, for those who want to volunteer in their community, this website provides all the information they need to get involved. 

Be prepared year round to support your community, your family, and yourself!


August 16: West Nile Virus

As of today, 82 mosquito samples across Massachusetts have been found to be positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). As of today, there have been no confirmed cases of WNV in humans, but the risk remains tends to peak in August for WNV transmission (Tuoti & Geller, 2017). According to Dr. Catherine Brown, deputy state epidemiologist for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, as quoted by Tuoti and Geller (2017), current weather patterns will be supportive of West Nile Virus mosquito populations, which increases this mosquito population's activity. 

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) encourages residents in Massachusetts to:

  • Use insect repellents 
  • Wear long-sleeved clothing
  • Avoid activities around dawn and dusk
  • Repair damaged window or door screens 
  • Remove standing water from areas around your home, as the type of Mosquito that carries WNV, tends to reside in standing water. 


For more information on WNV, including Clinical Signs & Symptoms and Diagnosis & Reporting, please follow the links below:

  • CDC: West Nile Virus. This link brings you to the WNV for Health Care Providers Clinical Evaluation & Disease part of the CDC page on WNV. It outlines Diagnosis & Reporting, Clinical Signs & Symptoms, Clinical Evaluation, and Outcomes.
  • Massachusetts Department of Public Health Mosquito-borne Diseases. This page brings you to the MDPH page on Mosquito-borne diseases. Here you can find General Information and FAQs and guidance on Prevention & Control, Surveillance Plan, Summaries & Data, WNV for Healthcare Providers and Veterinarians, and Travel-related Mosquito-borne diseases. Additionally, there are educational materials and helpful links/resources. 
  • MDPH Arbovirus Daily Update. Here you can find information about the communities at highest risk for WNV and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).


Tuoti, G., & Geller, S. (2017, August 15). Needham health officials urge caution against mosquitoes. Retrieved August 16, 2017, from http://needham.wickedlocal.com/news/20170815/needham-health-officials-urge-caution-against-mosquitoes

August 1st News Round-Up

MRPC Discipline Highlights:

Boston MedFlight

For the entire article, click HERE

Courtesy of Boston Fox25

White House opioid commission to Trump: “Declare a national emergency” on drug overdoses

Link to the entire Washington Post Article

Christopher Besse, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency


Know Your Zone and Make an Evacuation Plan

Residents Encouraged to Prepare for Hurricanes


FRAMINGHAM, MA – As we enter the portion of the hurricane season that traditionally is most active – August through October -- the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is urging residents who live or work in one of the state’s coastal communities, or near a river or other waterway that is connected to the ocean and may be impacted by storm surge, to learn if they are in a pre-designated Hurricane Evacuation Zone, develop evacuation plans, and be prepared to evacuate areas that may be inundated with flood waters as a result of an approaching hurricane or tropical storm.


“Evacuations in advance of a hurricane or tropical storm making landfall may be necessary due to the danger and threat of storm surge,” said MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz. “Residents and visitors in coastal areas are urged to learn if they are in an evacuation zone and to make evacuation plans in advance of a storm.”


Know Your Evacuation Zone

Massachusetts has established hurricane evacuation zones in each of the state’s coastal communities.  These zones -- Zones A, B and C -- identify the areas of coastal communities that are at risk for storm surge flooding from tropical storms or hurricanes. If evacuations are necessary because of an approaching tropical storm or hurricane, local or state officials will use the hurricane evacuation zones to call for people living, working or vacationing in these areas to evacuate. It is important to note that even areas not directly along a coastline may be at risk for storm surge flooding during a tropical storm or hurricane. Find out if you live, work or vacation in a hurricane evacuation zone by visiting the ‘Know Your Zone’ interactive map located on MEMA’s website at www.mass.gov/knowyourzone.


Make an Evacuation Plan

If you are located in a designated evacuation zone, you should be prepared to evacuate well before a hurricane or tropical storm makes landfall.  The rule of thumb is that evacuations should be complete before the onset of tropical storm force winds.

·        Know how to receive emergency information, including recommendations or orders to evacuate.

o   Sign up for your community’s emergency alerting system.

o   Monitor news broadcasts.

o   Download the free Massachusetts Alerts smartphone app from MEMA.

o   Follow MEMA on Twitter or Facebook.

o   Follow your local emergency management agency, and other local public safety agencies on social media.

·        Make a Family Emergency Plan. If you must evacuate, know where you will go, how you will get there, what you will bring.  Make sure that your plan includes provisions for children, seniors, and family members with disabilities or medical issues. 

·        Include your pets in your Family Emergency Plan. While service animals will be allowed inside shelters, household pets are not allowed in all shelters. Go to MEMA’s Pets and Animals in Emergencies webpage for additional tips. Remember: “If you go, they go!

·        Assemble an emergency kit. Keep your supplies in an easy-to-carry kit that you can take with you in case you must evacuate.

·        If you or a family member may require special assistance to evacuate, ask local officials about special assistance programs or registries.

·        If you undergo routine medical treatments or receive home health services, work with your service providers in advance to understand their emergency plans and to find backup providers that you might use in an emergency.

·        Keep your car fueled if an evacuation seems likely. Gas stations may be closed during an emergency, or unable to pump gas during power outages.

·        If you do not have personal transportation or a way to evacuate (such as public transportation), make transportation arrangements with family, friends or your local government.


If you live, work or vacation in an evacuation zone, listen closely to local and state officials and weather forecasts before and during a hurricane or tropical storm for evacuation information. If evacuations are necessary, local and state officials may use the evacuation zones (Zone A, B or C) to identify areas to be evacuated. If local or state officials call for an evacuation of your zone, follow their directions and evacuate to a safe area. 


For more information, see MEMA’s Hurricane Safety and Evacuation Safety Tips webpages.


About MEMA

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 towww.mass.gov/mema.


Continue to follow MEMA updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MassEMA; Facebook at www.facebook.com/MassachusettsEMA; YouTube at www.youtube.com/MassachusettsEMA.


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 free Massachusetts Alerts 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.