Springfield – There has been an outpouring of interest in how individuals and organizations can learn about, and support, the recovery effort underway in Western and Central Massachusetts. A week later, the recovery effort is fully underway in those communities hardest hit by the tornadoes and storms that moved through the area June 1.
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is the state agency responsible for coordinating federal, state, local, voluntary and private resources during emergencies and disasters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
MEMA provides leadership to: develop plans for effective response to all hazards, disasters or threats; train emergency personnel to protect the public; provide information to the citizenry; and assist individuals, families, businesses and communities to mitigate against, prepare for, and respond to and recover from emergencies, both natural and man made. For additional information about MEMA and Preparedness, go to www.mass.gov/mema. Follow MEMA updates on Facebook and Twitter.
MEMA has designated Mass 2-1-1 as the Commonwealth’s primary telephone information call center during times of emergency.
This important partnership affords citizens the opportunity to access vital, up-to-date disaster information, numerous post-disaster programs, interpreter services, and tracking of caller locations, greatly reducing the number of non-emergency calls made to 9-1-1. Residents should continue to use 9-1-1 for emergency or life safety issues. By dialing 2-1-1 in Massachusetts, callers are connected to local services – from food, clothing, and shelter assistance to counseling, legal and financial services, and much more. Learn more about Mass 2-1-1 by visiting: www.mass211.org or find help online by visiting: www.mass211help.org. Mass 2-1-1 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Mass 2-1-1 can also be reached by calling 1-877-211-6277.
Mass 2-1-1 is also acting as a central clearinghouse to inform the general public about the needs of communities impacted by the crisis including directing interested callers to volunteer opportunities, as well as to places that will take donations of both money and material goods.
Private homeowners and businesses are encouraged to report damages using the Mass 2-1-1 system. Collection of this damage data is important as the MEMA continues to assess the magnitude of this event and will assist in determining if federal disaster assistance may be available for those property owners and businesses most heavily impacted by this event.
As local officials will be busy assisting their impacted residents recover from this event, reporting damages directly to Mass 2-1-1 will assist MEMA in the damage assessment process. Those calling Mass 2-1-1 will be asked to provide basic information regarding name, address and type of damage.