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MASSACHUSETTS EMERGENCY   MANAGEMENT AGENCY

SITUATIONAL AWARENESS STATEMENT

October 1, 2018 

National Test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) on October 3, beginning at 2:18 p.m. EDT.

Situation

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and Emergency Alert Systems (EAS) on Wednesday October 3, 2018. The WEA portion of the test commences at 2:18 p.m. EDT, and the EAS portion follows at 2:20 p.m. EDT. The WEA test message will be sent to cell phones that are connected to wireless providers participating in WEA. This is the fourth EAS nationwide test and the first national WEA test.

Cell towers will broadcast the WEA test for approximately 30 minutes beginning at 2:18 p.m. EDT. During this time, WEA compatible cell phones that are switched on, within range of an active cell tower, and whose wireless provider participates in WEA likely will receive the test message.  Some cell phones may not receive the test message, and cell phones should only receive the message once. The WEA test message will be accompanied by an audible tone and will have a header that reads "Presidential Alert" and text that says:

“THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

The WEA system is used to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones. The national test will use the same special tone and vibration as with all WEA messages (i.e. Tornado Warning, AMBER Alert). Users cannot opt out of receiving the WEA test.

The EAS is a national public warning system that provides the President with the communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency. The test is made available to EAS participants (i.e., radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers) and is scheduled to last approximately one minute. Participating television and radio broadcasters will sound an audible tone and will display a message that is similar to regular monthly EAS test messages with which the public is familiar. The EAS message will include a reference to the WEA test:

“THIS IS A TEST of the National Emergency Alert System. This system was developed by broadcast and cable operators in voluntary cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, and local authorities to keep you informed in the event of an emergency. If this had been an actual emergency an official message would have followed the tone alert you heard at the start of this message. A similar wireless emergency alert test message has been sent to all cell phones nationwide. Some cell phones will receive the message; others will not. No action is required.”

The test was originally planned for September 20, 2018 but was postponed until October 3, 2018 due to ongoing response efforts for Hurricane Florence.

For additional information about the test, including Frequently Asked Questions, see: https://www.fema.gov/emergency-alert-test

 

Alerting Authority in Massachusetts

MEMA is the designated alerting authority for Massachusetts and has the authority and ability to activate the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). In 2018, MEMA has issued WEAs to targeted areas on behalf of impacted communities during the March coastal storms, law enforcement incidents, and the recent greater Lawrence gas line incident.

WEAs for weather warnings are separately issued by the National Weather Service for Tornado Warnings, Flash Flood Warnings, and other dangerous weather conditions. WEAs save lives! – WEAs for tornado warnings for the 2016 Concord tornado and the 2018 Webster tornado are credited with helping people take shelter during the storms.

The EAS and WEA are some of the many ways to receive emergency alerts and information. To learn more about other warnings and information, including MEMA’s Massachusetts Alerts app, see: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/be-informed-and-receive-emergency-alerts


MEMA Operations

The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) at MEMA Headquarters in Framingham is currently operating at Level 1 (Steady State Monitoring). 

·     Stay Informed:

Utilize Massachusetts Alerts to receive emergency notifications and information from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service.  Massachusetts Alerts is a free app that is available for Android and iPhones. To learn more about Massachusetts Alerts, and for information on how to download the free app onto your smartphone, visit: http://www.mass.gov/service-details/massachusetts-alerts-smartphone-app.

 

Utilize MEMA’s real-time power outage viewer to stay informed about current power outages in your community and region, and across the state, including information from utility companies about restoration times: http://mema.mapsonline.net/public.html

Utilize MEMA’s live weather radar and forecasting tools: http://www.mass.gov/map-resources

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October 1, 2018

2:28 pm

Today marks the start of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, also known as NCSAM. Since 2004, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has recognized October as NCSAM to promote cybersecurity awareness and safety tips, ultimately changing behaviors to protect people against cyber threats.  

Our off- and online lives are increasingly blurred. There is no escaping the reality that our homes, economic prosperity and national security are impacted by the internet. Starting today, the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) will explore weekly themes to help you become #CyberAware.

Week 1 (October 1–5) Make Your Home a Haven for Online Safety

Every day, parents and caregivers teach kids basic safety practices. Easy-to-learn life lessons for online safety and privacy begin with parents leading the way. S&T will provide basic cybersecurity tips to protect your home against potential cybersecurity threats stemming from online shopping and sharing too much personal information on social media. 

Week 2 (October 8–12) Millions of Rewarding Jobs: Educating for a Career in Cybersecurity

A key risk to our economy and security continues to be the shortage of cybersecurity professionals to safeguard our ever-expanding cyber ecosystem. S&T’s Cybersecurity Competitions program funds efforts that engage high school and college students in cybersecurity competition challenges. One of our successfully transitioned efforts, the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NCCDC), challenges teams of college students to operate and manage a corporate network infrastructure. This effort’s objective is to educate and inspire the next generation of cybersecurity defenders.

Week 3 (October 15–19) It’s Everyone’s Job to Ensure Online Safety at Work

An organization’s online safety and security is a shared responsibility across the workforce. This week S&T will explore cybersecurity best practices for the workplace like recognizing phishing attempts, securing Internet of Things devices and identifying software vulnerabilities.

Week 4 (October 22–26) Safeguarding the Nation’s Critical Infrastructure

Our daily lives depend on the country’s 16 sectors of critical infrastructure, which supply food, water, financial services, public health, communications and power along with other networks and systems. Several of S&T’s cybersecurity research and development (R&D) programs focus on securing our critical infrastructure:

Throughout NCSAM, I encourage you to follow our TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn to help keep you cyber savvy! During the month, we will share tips and program highlights using #CyberAware and #NCSAM. For more information about NCSAM events, visit our page



Governor Baker Proclaims 

“Emergency Preparedness Month” 

and 

Encourages Individuals and Families to Prepare

 

FRAMINGHAM, MA – Governor Charlie Baker has proclaimed September 2018 to be Emergency Preparedness Month to highlight the importance of emergency preparedness and to encourage planning for disasters and other types of emergencies. The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and the Department of Public Health (DPH) will promote public preparedness throughout the month through various outreach initiatives. These efforts are part of a month-long nationwide preparedness campaign to encourage residents to take simple steps to better prepare themselves, their homes, their businesses, and their communities.

“The destructive storms that impacted the Commonwealth in March and the recent natural disasters across the country are reminders of the importance of emergency preparedness,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Preparedness improves public health and safety, can help minimize property damage and the economic impacts of disasters, and can accelerate the disaster recovery process.”

“The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, Department of Public Health and other public safety agencies work closely with our communities in Massachusetts and across all levels of government to strengthen our preparedness for the next disaster,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We encourage individuals, families, and businesses to take steps to prepare themselves and their property before the next emergency.”

“Massachusetts faces a variety of hazards that can impact those living and working here,” said Secretary of Public Safety Dan Bennett. “By being informed of the risks and learning how to take protective actions in an emergency, people can improve both their own safety and community preparedness.”

“Emergency Preparedness Month is a time to think about, and prepare for the emergencies that may occur here,” said MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz. “Recent tornadoes this summer have shown the importance of timely emergency alerts and the need for residents to understand how to get alerts and information to stay safe.” 

To help individuals and families prepare during Emergency Preparedness Month, MEMA will promote four key preparedness messages: 1) Be Informed and Receive Emergency Alerts, 2) Plan for Emergencies and Disasters, 3) Build an Emergency Kit, and 4) Get Involved in community preparedness and resilience.  MEMA will also stress the importance of considering the unique preparedness needs of children, pets, seniors and people with access and functional needs.  

MEMA’s website, www.mass.gov/mema, features resources to help prepare for emergencies and information about the hazards common in Massachusetts. During September, MEMA will also share emergency preparedness tips on Twitter and Facebook, partner with MassDOT to feature signage along highways, and will support various emergency preparedness events across the state.

Be Informed 

Massachusetts is susceptible to many natural hazards, including floods, hurricanes and tropical storms, severe winter weather, tornadoes, coastal storms, thunderstorms, earthquakes, lightning, extreme temperatures, and man-made disasters, including hazardous materials incidents, nuclear power plant incidents, power outages, transportation accidents, water supply problems, terrorism and more. If you live or work in a coastal community, you should learn whether you are in a designated hurricane evacuation zone. To learn whether your home, business, or school is in a hurricane evacuation zone, use the interactive "Know Your Zone" map on MEMA’s website. Being aware of, and understanding the different types of emergencies and disasters that can occur is a critical part of being prepared and staying safe.

Receive Emergency Alerts

Receiving advance warnings for severe weather, timely emergency alerts, and information during a disaster is critical to staying safe during an emergency. Every family should have multiple methods for receiving emergency alerts, including at least one with an audible alert to wake you in the middle of the night. Some of the primary ways to get information during an emergency include:

  • Local notification systems such as “Reverse 9-1-1” or “Code Red.” MEMA urges residents to contact their local Emergency Management Director to find out about local notification systems and how to enroll.
  • MEMA’s Massachusetts Alerts smartphone app.
  • The Emergency Alert System (EAS) which broadcasts information via radio and television.
  • Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) which deliver emergency alerts via cellphone
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radios.
  • Traditional media such as TV and radio stations.
  • MEMA’s Twitter or Facebook accounts and the social media accounts of public safety agencies in your community.
  • MEMA's website: www.mass.gov/mema and local government websites.
  • Massachusetts 2-1-1 is the Commonwealth's primary telephone information call center during emergencies. Call 2-1-1 for information about the location of open shelters, transportation or other restrictions due to a declared state of emergency, post disaster assistance, ways to volunteer or donate, or other services you or your family may need.
  • A teletypewriter (TTY) device, which allows individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech-impaired use the telephone to communicate. 
  • U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Broadcasts are used for maritime weather and safety broadcasts. 
  • MassDOT variable message boards and private sector digital billboards can be used to provide information during emergencies.

More information about emergency alerting systems can be found online at: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/be-informed-and-receive-emergency-alerts

Over the coming weeks, MEMA will issue additional information to promote the themes of: Plan for Emergencies and DisastersBuild an Emergency Kit, and Get Involved in community preparedness and resilience. 

Governor Baker recently signed bipartisan legislation to authorize over $2.4 billion in capital allocations for investments in safeguarding residents, municipalities and businesses from the impacts of climate change, protecting environmental resources, and improving recreational opportunities. The legislation enables critical environmental investments at the state and local levels and will put into law essential components of Governor Baker’s Executive Order 569 establishing an integrated strategy for climate change adaptation across the Commonwealth, including the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness grant program and the Statewide Hazard Mitigation and Adaptation Plan.

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 to www.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

 


LOCAL EMERGENCY PLANNING COMMITTEE

WAYLAND LEPC Mission Statement

“Wayland’s Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) is a group of elected and appointed community representative who meet quarterly each year, for the purpose of promoting and facilitating the pre, present and post incident safety of all Wayland residents and business owners. LEPC takes an “All-Hazards” approach to public safety, emergency preparedness, and public health, which include hazardous materials incidents, natural disasters, manmade and terrorist events. Wayland’s LEPC goal is to manage public expectations and emergency preparedness concerns for the community by establishing a Continuity Of Operations Plan (COOP) for Town government, promoting and advocating for public education while improving communications before, during and after emergent events.” (Approved 06/20/12)


Enjoy your day but please remember this:

What you have on hand for “Emergency Supplies” will most likely save your life when a major disaster hits. As you go through each day knowing that something terrible could happen, why not have an EMERGENCY PLAN for your family, your home and your place of business and have a back-up supply of emergency supplies on hand?

When an emergency happens, in most instances it is too late to go shopping and to make your disaster plan for your family.


SOMETHING IMPORTANT TO THINK ABOUT!

Emergency Preparedness must begin at home. It is the personal responsibility of each and every person to "BE PREPARED" in the event of an emergency. If we are prepared we will see to it that our family members understand the need to BE PREPARED. If our family is PREPARED we can hope that families will take an interest and an initiative in seeing that their neighborhood, their community, their state and their country are also PREPARED for that unexpected emergency.

The general public MUST UNDERSTAND that if a major catastrophic event occurs local, state and national public safety resources may not be sufficient to meet local demands. Tough economic times are faced by many;  municipal budgets are under great pressure and municipal services are being cut or stabilized.  If an emergent event occurs and that event affects your neighborhood, your community,  or your region the public must understand that your call to 911 may result in a delayed response. Your need to be PREPARED is therefore CRITICAL!

If you have any questions or would like assistance with your preparation, please don’t hesistate to contact Doug Leard at DJL@emergencypreparedness4all.com or at 508-922-5778.

Thank you and have a GOOD day!!

   © Douglas Leard 2014