Hope WW handing out 30,000 Emergency Preparedness packs on 9/11

We have about 700 HOPE volunteers handing out 30,000 Red Cross/HOPE Emergency Preparedness door hangers all next week in the Boston metropolitan area, as part of the 9/11 National Day of Service & Remembrance. It’s also good timing, as there are some tropical depressions forming in the Atlantic now. Here is a copy of the bi-lingual door hanger and a past group photo of our awesome volunteers in Dorchester.

Bob Herrmann
Hope WorldWideBoston Chapter
214 Concord Road
Framingham, MA 01702

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Marathon Help – One Boston Fund and 18 April Conf. Call Minutes

To assist families and victims of the bombs at the Boston Marathon, please donate at the official site set up through Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. The official web site is:  www.onefundboston.org .

Here is a brief description of some of the many actions taken by Massachusetts VOAD members following the Boston Marathon. This was a last minute conference call announcement so we apologize for not yet communicating the help delivered by many of our great members and affiliates:

Conference Call Attendees:
Steve Napoli (Red Cross, MA VOAD Chair)
Cindy Hahn (Red Cross Western MA)
Hector Ball (FEMA)
Bob Herrmann (Hope Worldwide)
Doug Forbes (MEMA)
Melissa Sieminski (Red Cross, MA VOAD Masscare Officer)
Kevin Hall (Church of Scientology, MA VOAD Public Affairs Dir)

A conference call regarding the Boston Marathon was called by email at 11:14AM today for 3pm so we apologize to those who didn’t see the message and who would have liked to join.

Steve opened the meeting covering some of the Red Cross activities. The Red Cross was working with the Boston Athletic Association and Emergency Services in the tents during the Marathon so had members to help right after the bombs went off. They set up health and disaster mental health services quickly and have also been a presence at vigils and memorials. Also, a fund called One Fund Boston has been put together through the Governor’s office and Boston Mayor’s office and already has over $7 million. It’s to help the victims of the bombs and their families and will be managed by Kenneth Fienberg who managed the 911 fund.

Melissa said that the Red Cross also set up Masscare activities with the Salvation Army with the headquarters at the Castle in Park Square, Boston. The combined work included feeding, a place to stay and family unification, with Red Cross in communication with consulates. Melissa also said the Red Cross has worked with the MBTA to promote mental health and spiritual counseling. She aslo worked with Jim Tilby of the Fire Chaplains on pastoral counseling. Those MA VOAD churches that want to get their names out there to help with spiritual counseling can contact Melissa.

Kevin Hall said that his church, that is in the Back Bay went out to assist distraught people about 45 minutes after the bombing but all was calm near the new Comm. Ave. finish line – amazingly calm. The next day, at the Castle, he found that nobody was allowed in the Charlesmark or Mandarin Hotels as the emergency personnel thought they were official crime scenes and that they may not be open for nearly a week. The SRO reported this to MEMA Director Schwartz who called the FBI and got a clarification that only Boylston Street was the crime scene so soon the hotels could open their side and back doors and Marathoners, their families and others could get their IDs, credit cards, clothing, etc. and leave the city. Kevin also said that he noticed that MA VOAD members, in general, were still a little too involved in personal duties as opposed to organizing VOAD as a united force.

Bob Herrmann said that volunteers were asking how to help so he is now pushing them toward One Fund Boston and donating blood to the Red Cross.

Hector Ball said that Arlene Magoon of FEMA has been coordinating daily with MEMA.

Board and Staff of MA VOAD

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Hurricane Sandy in Massachusetts

Fortunately for Massachusetts, Hurricane Sandy didn’t hit us nearly as hard as our neighboring states to the south. Nonetheless, there have been calls for help to the United Way’s 211 line. These calls mainly surround damage from trees falling and flooding.

Massachusetts VOAD member organizations are now coordinating how to help these people in need with our many volunteer resources.

Please feel free to review this website for information on disaster training and preparation, and for information on our members, associates and organizational structure.
The Board and Sraff of Massachusetts VOAD


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Hurricane Isaac Donations and Volunteers – How to Help

Remember “Cash is Best”

Financial contributions to voluntary agencies can be used to purchase specific needed items on scene which helps the local economy and prevents voluntary partners from having to transport items at great expense. See the links below to donate cash to the active voluntary agencies working in the state of your choice.

Collecting Goods Is Not Favored Clothing, household items, and food are best provided by well-funded voluntary agencies and not through the expensive process of collecting, sorting, packaging, transporting, receiving, sorting, and distributing of goods. But if you do host a collection, know the facts: (1) what is needed, (2) where it is needed, (3) who will receive and distribute it, and (4) how they want it packaged and shipped. Speak to voluntary agencies working the disaster to determine what the specific needs are before you collect. Better yet, post an offer of goods at the links provided below for the state of your choice.Voluntary partners and emergency management will review your offer and advise you if it is needed.

Volunteering Your Time The best way to volunteer after disaster is through affiliating with a recognized disaster-related voluntary agency. Unconnected volunteers who show up at disaster sites are called “spontaneous unaffiliated volunteers” and often require the support of already busy agencies and officials. It’s better to volunteer through an organization, a church, or at a minimum, by connecting with the volunteer coordination offices in the state of your choice.

To donate or volunteer, go to one of these state sites:
Alabama      www.ndmn.us/al
Arkansas     www.ndmn.us/ar
Florida         www.ndmn.us/fl
Louisiana    www.ndmn.us/la
Mississippi  www.ndmn.us/ms
Texas           www.ndmn.us/tx

For more information:
Larry Buckner (Donations Specialist)
FEMA Region IV (FL, AL, MS)
Mark Davis  (Donations Specialist)
FEMA Region VI (TX, LA)

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Local Volunteer Groups Request Support to Serve Tornado Survivors

Massachusetts Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster Seeks Support for Ongoing Relief Efforts

What:              One year after the June 1st tornado tore through parts of western Massachusetts there are still unmet needs as families seek to rebuild their lives. Three  Long Term Recovery Groups (LTRG) formed in the hardest hit areas and have been coordinating essential assistance for those impacted. These largely volunteer-led collaborations have been providing for the needs of individuals and families while they continue to recover from the storm.


In coordination with FEMA, Massachusetts Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (MAVOAD) is seeking additional help for these individuals and families. Continuing needs include skilled laborers, committed volunteers, office space and financial donations which can immediately be applied to critical needs. For those interested in providing support please contact Boston Cares at disasterrelief@bostoncares.org or 617.420.2298.



Who:               For individual interviews and more detailed statistics in each area please contact:

Brimfield Ian Lynch508.932.1312 Chair for “Pathway to Recovery”
Springfield Portia Allen413.737.2691 Chair ‘Springfield Community Together’
West Springfield Gareth Flanary413.297.1286 Project Manager for “Raising Hope Together”


When:             Beginning Thursday, May 31


Where:                        West Springfield, Springfield, and Brimfield region


About Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD)

VOAD is the forum where organizations share knowledge and resources throughout the disaster cycle—preparation, response and recovery—to help disaster survivors and their communities. Massachusetts VOAD (MA VOAD) takes these actions in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts while liaising with the VOADs in neighboring states, National VOAD and state and federal emergency agencies. Members of MAVOAD form a coalition of nonprofit organizations that respond to disasters as part of their overall mission. www.massvoad.org

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Simple Community Organization to Help in Times of Disaster

For those in the local and regional communities, including emergency management officials, non-profit organizations and churches, businesses and individual citizens, who want to help your community prepare for any disaster that may hit, log into www.formidablefootprint.org . This free service allows you and your community to prepare for hurricanes, floods, snow storms, pandemic influenza, tornadoes and more.

And what about knowing which neighbors need help during a time of disaster? For this, there’s the Map Your Neighborhood program (http://www.emd.wa.gov/myn/index.shtml)
that’s very popular in Western United States and is starting up in our part of the country. These links are now permanent fixtures in the Training/Preparedness section of this website.

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Patriot Ledger/Volunteer hotline set up for post-Irene help

The Patriot Ledger
By Staff reports from
The MetroWest Daily News
September 02, 2011

Massachusetts’ voluntary non-profit disaster response coalition has set up a website and call-in number to organize volunteers who want to assist in Tropical Storm Irene disaster relief efforts, most of which will be needed in Western Mass.

Massachusetts Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (MA VOAD) asks people Continue reading

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MA VOAD Hurricane Planning and How You Can Help

 www.bostoncares.org is where you would go to assist with Hurricane Irene Disaster Response. Simply fill out the Volunteer information and Boston Cares will field requests for help from emergency management officials and others in need of help and contact those of you who post the skills required to help. You will not likely be contacted on an immediate basis as government emergency response may need various roads closed to fix live wires and to remove debris. In the meantime, there are likely to be several neighbors, Continue reading

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FEMA Encourages Americans to Participate in September’s National Preparedness Month

Eighth Annual National Preparedness Month in September: “A Time to Remember. A Time to Prepare,” Encourages Americans to Take Simple Steps to Prepare for Emergencies

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Ready Campaign, in partnership with Citizen Corps and the Ad Council, today announced the launch Continue reading

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Here’s how individual and family Tornado victims can register for federal assistance from FEMA

Affected individuals and families can call the FEMA hotline to register.
It’s easy to get started. Registration is open until August 18, 2011

Disaster Recovery Checklist

o Call my insurance company first.

o Call FEMA at 1-800-621-3362 TTY: 800 462-7585 or go on line www.disasterassistance.gov: FEMA.gov

o Write down and save your 9 digit FEMA registration number

Here’s more data from a recent FEMA press release:

President Declares a Major Disaster For Massachusetts

Release Date: June 15, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to Massachusetts to supplement the state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms and tornadoes on June 1, 2011.

The President’s action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Hampden and Worcester Counties.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Federal funding also is available to State and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe storms and tornadoes in Hampden County.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

James N. Russo has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. Russo said that additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated county can begin applying for assistance today by registering online at www.disasterassistance.gov, by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

Follow FEMA online at http://blog.fema.gov, www.twitter.com/fema, www.facebook.com/fema, and www.youtube.com/fema. Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate’s activities at www.twitter.com/craigatfema.

The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

o Meet with the FEMA housing inspector

o Complete and return the Small Business Association application immediately if received

o Call FEMA if you receive any letters you do not understand or if you have not heard from FEMA within two weeks

o Tell FEMA about any changes in your status…address, phone number, insurance payments.

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