January 9, 2017

MARSHFIELD—Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) joined her colleagues, Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth), and Representatives Jim Cantwell (D-Marshfield) and Josh Cutler (D-Duxbury), to meet with state agency officials and South Shore public safety officials to discuss issues of winter preparedness. Coming at the tail end of Massachusetts’s first serious winter storm, this preparedness meeting proved timely. Among the topics discussed were what resources are available to communities, how communities can request support, and how communities can promote individual preparedness for winter storms.

The meeting, held at Ventress Hall in Marshfield, provided an opportunity for key state agencies, local public safety officials, utility companies, and other entities to describe their role and responsibilities in preparation for and during winter storms. Furthermore, these agencies were able to relay the challenges they frequently encounter as well as how to best support town officials and residents.

Representative Joan Meschino (D -Hull) said, “As our coastal communities continue to feel the effects of climate change, sea level rise, and worsening storms, it will be increasingly necessary that we encourage the communication and situational awareness needed to ensure that our communities are prepared for anything that may come our way. This meeting was a great first step forward.”

“It is great to have so many stakeholders and emergency preparedness personnel come together to discuss the challenges our coastal storms can present, said Senator Patrick O’Connor. “Each year as the intensity of our winter storms increase, proper communication and preparation becomes even more valuable. I’m sure everyone that attended this meeting walked away with some great information.”

“As always, I continue to be impressed by the great work our town officials perform as they organize and implement safety precautions in preparation for and duration of a storm event,” said Rep. Jim Cantwell. “Our community public safety experts are true professionals who are well prepared to address the challenges of winter storms and totally supportive of all our residents.”

“This meeting exemplifies the dedication our local public safety officials have when preparing for emergencies. Our local officials continuously improve on their already outstanding preparedness practices to ensure our communities are ready for the inevitable winter storms” Rep. Cutler said.

Also in attendance was the Secretary of Public Safety and Security, Dan Bennett, as well as the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Deputy Director Christine Packard. Secretary Bennett and his staff provided an overview of services that the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) can provide towns.  Deputy Director Packard spoke to the process by which resource requests from towns are addressed.