BARNSTABLE – Peter Judge and Richard LaTour of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency prepare for crises all year long. But in the winter, agency officials are particularly on the alert in the event of major storms and power outages.
This week, with temperatures below freezing across the United States and record snowfalls accumulating in parts of the county, the commonwealth’s emergency officials say are prepared for the winter.
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 Public Information Officer Peter Judge and Rich LaTour, local MEMA coordinator for Cape Cod, talk about the latest emergency planning tools–including a new app–that MEMA offers residents.
Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency officials are promoting the importance of “Getting Involved” to increase family preparedness and community resiliency.
Here are some of the ways to Get Involved:
- Get trained and volunteer with a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) unit and/or other Citizen Corps Partner Program or Affiliate organization.
- Receive Community Emergency Response Team training in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operation. There are over 125 CERT programs in Massachusetts. For a list of programs near you, visit:http://www.citizencorps.fema.gov/cc/searchCert.do?submitByZip.
- Get trained and volunteer with a Medical Reserve Corps program to provide support during a public health emergency. There are over 45 MRC programs in Massachusetts. For a list of programs near you, visit:https://medicalreservecorps.gov/HomePage.
- Become involved in the Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) Program, which is a national program that serves as a gateway to resources and information for and about law enforcement volunteer programs of all kinds. The program’s ultimate goal is to enhance the capacity of state and local law enforcement to utilize volunteers. For additional information on the VIPS program, go tohttp://www.policevolunteers.org/volunteer/.
- Check with your local fire department to see if they have volunteer firefighters or volunteer support positions.
- Get trained in CPR and Basic First Aid and volunteer to help mass care and sheltering operations at your local American Red Cross Chapter.
- Seek out local faith-based and community organizations, which may have programs active in supporting disasters.
- Find a volunteer opportunity with a Massachusetts Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD)
- Join or start a preparedness project. Find an event or identify local resources, build a team, choose a project, set goals and serve your community by improving the preparedness of your friends, colleagues and neighbors. Get started.
- Find out more about the American Radio Relay League, which supports the advancement of Amateur Radio Service and trains individuals interested in learning the skill of operating ham radios.
- Support major disasters by donating cash or goods, which may help meet the needs of your community in times of disaster. Learn more.