Who is a member?
Our members are the local governments of Massachusetts and their elected and appointed leadership.
An MMA webinar today with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency shared municipal best practices for before, during and after an emergency or disaster.
MEMA Director Dawn Brantley opened with a review of the disaster timeline and state response coordination. While primary responsibility for disaster response and recovery lives within municipalities, she said MEMA works side-by-side with localities providing assistance, support, resources and guidance to help them protect their communities and recover.
MEMA leads the state response to events of significant scope and scale, guided by strategy and policy decisions made by the governor, and supported by more than 70 partner agencies and organizations. MEMA also has three Regional Emergency Operation Centers, located in Agawam, Franklin and Tewksbury, that support the State Emergency Operations Center at all activation levels.
Brantley said recovery from a disaster begins before the incident is over. MEMA works closely with municipalities and the Federal Emergency Management Agency after large events to facilitate the emergency declaration process and implement or support any FEMA or Small Business Administration programs made available as a result of the declarations.
The declaration process begins with a FEMA Preliminary Damage Assessment, where MEMA’s Recovery Program and local coordinators work with state and local agencies to collect damage estimates to determine if state and county thresholds might be met.
Simon van Leeuwen, MEMA’s assistant director for recovery and mitigation, reviewed Individual Assistance Criteria, which is more subjective than FEMA’s Public Assistance Threshold. The principal factors used to determine a request for an Individuals and Households Program are the estimated cost of IHP assistance and the state’s fiscal capacity compared to the impact on the state, which is represented through an IHP cost-to-capacity ratio.
Brantley moderated 15 minutes of questions and answers, which addressed inquiries about emergency procurement, ongoing programs and grants, and incorporating climate change into funding and planning. MEMA Deputy Director Patrick Carnevale joined Brantley and van Leeuwen for the Q&A.
• State-Level Disaster Response and the Recovery Process for Municipalities – MEMA presentation (6M PDF)