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MEMA - Ebola Awareness
Monday, November 17, 2014 -

MEMA’s primary focus is ensuring that the Commonwealth’s public safety professionals - - police, fire, EMS, and emergency management - - are informed, trained, equipped and prepared to respond to, and manage situations involving persons who are sick with the Ebola Virus Disease, or are suspected of having, or at risk of coming down with Ebola either because of recent travel to certain countries in West Africa or recent contact with someone who is sick with Ebola. MEMA is collaborating with local and state public safety partners on disseminating guidance on dealing with persons suspected of having Ebola, developing minimum standards for the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), ensuring that public safety training needs are identified and met, examining potential legal issues involving quarantines, and establishing communications protocols to provide first responders immediate medical guidance from a DPH epidemiologist when assessing whether a person with flu-like symptoms may have Ebola. MEMA and DPH continue to share information with the public safety community.  DPH hosts a weekly conference call for public safety personnel, and MEMA and DPH regularly disseminate information bulletins.  MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz also has testified multiple times before the Joint Committee on Public Health on public safety preparedness.



MEMA and DPH will continue to update and share relevant Ebola related information and guidance:  

·          Ebola Legal Guidance from MEMA and DPH on the Legal Authority of a Police Officer to Enforce a Quarantine Order or Detain an Individual Who May Have Ebola.

·          PPE Guidance for First Responders Guidance on PPE for first responders who may respond to, or deal with individuals who are suspected of having Ebola.

·         Guidance for EMS Providers  Advisory from MPDH Office of Emergency Medical Services to all Massachusetts licensed ambulance providers regarding the response to and assessment, transport and treatment of individuals who are suspected to have Ebola.

·         MPTC Guidelines for Police Officers  This is a presentation from the Municipal Police Training Committee containing background information on Ebola and updated guidance for police officers who may respond to, or deal with individuals who are suspected of having Ebola.

·         USDOT Safety Advisory: Packaging and Handling Ebola Virus Contaminated Infectious Waste for Transportation to Disposal Sites.

·         The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance for Monitoring and Movement of Persons with Potential Ebola Virus Exposure.

·         Guidelines from Department of Fire Services on Proper Use of PPE. This presentation gives guidance to public safety agencies on donning and doffing personal protective equipment (PPE) for high level infectious diseases, in response to Ebola concerns.

·         Protocol for first responders to receive immediate telephone guidance from a DPH epidemiologist when assessing whether a person may have Ebola and making decisions about the care and transport of such a person: Ebola: Protocol for First Responders to Obtain Immediate Assistance from DPH

·         The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance for PSAP’s and EMS personnel managing calls for service for persons who may have Ebola.  

DPH EBOLA Information for Residents


For more information including information for residents, clinicians, higher education institutions, local boards of health and general information and facts, visit the DPH website at



The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/National Weather Service (NWS) Climate Prediction Center has issued their early winter outlook. The media release and a link to the outlook can be found at:

For most areas of New England the outlook calls for higher chances for above normal temperatures, and slightly higher chances for higher precipitation than normal. The dominant global signal is a weak El Niño.  This seasonal outlook does not project where and when snowstorms may occur or provide predictions of total seasonal snowfall accumulations. Snow forecasts are dependent upon the strength and track of winter storms, which are generally not predictable more than a week in advance.


On October 27, ISO-NE (Independent System Operator of New England) held their annual Pre-Winter Conference Call Briefing for utilities, State Emergency Management Agencies, Governors’ Offices, Public Utility Commissions & Energy Offices and Power Reliability Councils. It was reported that there will be adequate power capacity for the region this winter, barring unprecedented extreme weather or unanticipated major impacts on fuel supplies. ISO-New England is the independent, not-for-profit company authorized by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to perform three critical, complex, interconnected roles for the region by ensuring the constant availability of competitively-priced wholesale electricity, through Grid Operation, Market Administration and Power System Planning.





FEMA and Operation Hope released an updated tool to support emergency preparedness. The Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) is a flexible tool to help individuals and families at all income levels collect and secure for themselves critical documents and information. With recommendations for household information, financial and legal documentation, medical information, and household contacts, the EFFAK provides a structured approach for safeguarding the documentation needed to start the recovery process. The EFFAK includes a form for families to track their documentation on-line. When survivors of Hurricane Sandy were asked what they wished they had known, what possessions they had, or what actions they should have taken before the storm, one of the top five items mentioned was collecting and safely storing important personal documents. A FEMA survey conducted in 2011 showed that less than 35 percent of Americans report having copies of their vital records stored as part of their preparedness kit. The revised EFFAK is available at and at  



During the past month, 128 individuals attended 5 different classes, receiving training through MEMA in the following subject areas: ICS-100/NIMS-700, ICS-300, Hazard City TTX, and EOC Management & Operations. Year-to-date, 2,202 students have attended MEMA sponsored classes.  For additional information regarding MEMA Training opportunities, go to



During the month of October, MEMA utilized the Mobile Emergency Operation Centers (MEOCs) and personnel to support multiple events across the Commonwealth: 

October 3 through 13 – MEMA supported the Topsfield Fair with MEOC 2 as the Unified Command Center (UCC) for all agencies involved.  MEMA also provided a Tactical Operations Center (TOC) for the National Guard Civil Support Team (CST) and MA State Police (MSP) Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD). In addition, MEMA supported and provided communications equipment for event and coordination channels, as well a communications plan.

October 19 – MEMA supported the Lowell Baystate Marathon with MEOC 2 as a UCC for Police, Fire, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and Emergency Management. The unit also provided a Tactical Operations Center (TOC) for the National Guard CST and MSP EOD. MEMA’s Mobile Field Tent Trailer, staffed with paramedics and nurses, was deployed for EMS support along the race route. The Communications Unit (COMU) Team was deployed to support event communications as well.



Thirty-five Emergency Management students from MA Maritime Academy recently toured the SEOC at MEMA HQ.  They also received a presentation of the workings of the Operations Center during an activation, in response to an emergency. Additionally, 20 students from Keefe Tech, who will be working on a project at MEMA HQ, visited the SEOC for a tour and lesson on the history of the SEOC.



On October 31, federal, state and local officials celebrated the completion of the Town Creek Restoration and Flood Protection Project in Salisbury, MA. The Tide Gate and Culvert Project includes the installation of larger culverts and adjustable combination flap-sluice tide gates at Town Creek that will control flooding both from coastal storms and from runoff events. The project also provides additional flood protection by reconstructing and fortifying a section of the railway embankment across Town Creek that was temporarily repaired in 2007.  Furthermore, the design enhances tidal flushing to 55 acres of the existing estuary, improving water quality and natural habitat conditions for many important species of fish, birds and other wildlife, and at the same time, preparing for the impacts of climate change. The $1,047,663 project (Federal Share: $785,708; Local Share: $261,955), which was completed in September was the result of a Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant, coordinated by MEMA and the Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR). Speakers at the event included Energy & Environmental Affairs (EEA) Undersecretary Martin Suuberg, Department of Fish & Game Commissioner Mary Griffin, DCR Division of Water Supply Protection Director Jonathan Yeo, and State Senator Kathleen O'Connor Ives. The Town worked cooperatively on wetlands restoration aspects of this project with the MA Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Wetlands Restoration Program (now the Division of Ecological Restoration), the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the MA Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and Salisbury’s elected state and federal representatives.



Massachusetts again participated in the Great NorthEast ShakeOut Earthquake Drill, which was held on October 16 at 10:16 a.m.  Participation in regional or state earthquake drills, on every level, continues to grow annually. This year 26.2 million individuals were registered to participate (up over 1 million from 2013). The regional Great Northeast ShakeOut saw 504,000 individuals register (up by 200,000) and on the state level, Massachusetts more than doubled participation to 70,000 individuals who took the opportunity to “Drop, Cover and Hold On”. Additional details concerning the Great Northeast ShakeOut can be found at



MEMA and the MA State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) strongly encourage use of the on-line Tier II Manager System for Tier II Reporting Year 2014. At this time, MEMA is asking Tier II report filers to register to use this system. MEMA has posted a memo on its website (Tier II Manager System: Registration for Filers) which provides additional information on who should register and how this may be done:



The Northeast States Emergency Consortium (NESEC) is offering free assistance to help local, state, regional organizations and others to understand their risks from natural disasters.  Using the FEMA program HAZUS and ArcMap, NESEC models impacts of earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods in your jurisdiction. The reports include hazard maps, dollar damage estimates, shelter requirements, debris estimates, critical infrastructure and facility impact and much more. NESEC has provided hazard risk assessments to the City of Boston, Nashua, NH, Ipswich, MA, FEMA Region 1, the State of Maine and others. To request your free Hazard Risk Assessment please visit the NESEC GIS and HAZUS-MH Assistance page at



FEMA seeks public comments from state, tribal and local governments, private non-profit organizations and interested members of the public regarding its proposed Public Assistance policy on insurance. Comments must be submitted through the process outlined in the Federal Register Notice and are due on December 8, 2014.  Following a federal disaster declaration and the activation of the Public Assistance program, FEMA may provide grants to state, territorial, local, and federally recognized tribal governments and certain private non-profit entities to assist them with the response to and recovery from disasters. As a condition of receiving these federal funds applicants must insure that facility against future loss. This proposed policy makes several changes including clarifying key terms, the scope of insurance needed, and the difference between flood and non-flood events. The policy also proposes options to self-insure, modify the insurance requirement and sets standards for State Insurance Commissioner certification.




The Fall 2014 edition of the Prevailing Winds SKYWARN Newsletter is now available. There are many interesting stories including a tribute story to N1FY-Carl Aveni who is stepping down from WX1BOX operations after 18 years, a summary of the 2014 Summer Severe Weather Season and a story on the Revere EF-2 Tornado. The Fall edition of the Newsletter can be found at An archive of Prevailing Winds SKYWARN Newsletters can be found at



MEMA continues to encourage all communities and governmental entities to take advantage of the opportunity to opt into the Statewide Public Safety Mutual Aid Agreement and the Public Works Mutual Aid Agreement program. To date, 281 communities and organizations are on board with the Statewide Public Safety Mutual Aid Agreement and 211 have signed onto the Public Works Mutual Aid Agreement. See the list at Local officials with any questions regarding the Agreement should contact their MEMA Regional Office or Allen Phillips at



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.



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Posted By : Megan Servello

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