National Emergency Preparedness Month 2016

Emergency Preparedness Month provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the important work being done to make sure our communities are safe, healthy, and ready for public health emergencies and/or disasters.

The theme “Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today” is the continuing theme from 2015.  Often families are not with their loved ones when catastrophe strikes, so having up-to-date contact information for those you need to get in touch with during a public health emergency and/or disaster is critical.  It is also possible to collect names and addresses of your neighbors and talking to them one by one so that if something should happen you can call different neighbors and ask what can you do or how can you help.

Ask about plans at the places where family spends the most time: work, school and other places you frequent.  If none exist, consider volunteering to help develop one.  You will be better prepared to safely reunite your family and loved ones during an emergency if you think ahead, and communicate with others in advance.

Over 60 percent of Americans say preparation for natural or man-made disasters is very important to them, however, only a staggering 17 percent of Americans claim to be prepared for an emergency situation, according to a new survey commissioned by the Ad Council.

Disasters can have a major impact on the workplace, both for the people who work there, and to workplace operations.  After a disaster, workplaces cannot recover without their people and people cannot recover without a job to go back to.

Organizations can have tremendous influence on their personnel when it comes to preparing for a disaster.  When employers encourage employees to be prepared for disasters, employees are 75 percent more likely to take action.  And with more than 63 percent of the US population aged 16 or older in the labor force, the workplace is one of the most effective environments for educating and encouraging people to take steps to be ready for disasters, which includes being fully age-appropriate immunized – flu, pneumonia, HPV, MMR, etc.

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno said, “Unfortunately, as we have dealt with here in our own Springfield, it is better to be prepared and forewarned, than not. I commend Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris, Emergency Preparedness Director Bob Hassett, all our brave and dedicated police, firefighters, first responders and associated city departments for always being there in our time of need.”

“Emergencies can happen at any time,” said Helen Caulton-Harris, Springfield Health Commissioner.  “Taking a few simple steps now to prepare yourself, your family and your community makes the entire community more resilient and better able to respond to emergency events.”  All residents, Don’t Wait. CommunicateMake Your Emergency Plan Today.

For further information contact:

                                    Public Health Emergency Preparedness & Response Coordinator

                                    Tony L. Pettaway

                                    (413) 750-2696


                                    National Weather Services





Mayor Sarno and Officials Break Ground on New South End Community Center

Friday, September 23, 2016

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Park Commission Chairman Brian Santaniello, Director of Capital Asset Peter Garvey, Director of Parks, Buildings and Recreation Management Patrick Sullivan, SECC Chairman Thaddeus Tokarz and SECC Executive Director Chae Swan hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the South End Community Center earlier today at Emerson Wight Park.

The new South End Community Center will be located within Emerson Wight Park in Springfield and will replace the original building destroyed by the 2011 tornado. The new building will be approximately 29,000 square feet. The first floor will include a large gymnasium, administrative offices, indoor basketball courts, a lounge, concessions area and a multipurpose room for boxing, wrestling and dance functions. The second floor will house an exercise center and three general classrooms. The facility will also include an exterior basketball court and has been designed to share the Emerson Wight Park fields and playgrounds. The construction project is estimated to cost $10.3 million.

“I am thrilled to begin this project.  My city team, along with the SECC Board, has developed a first class community center for our youth. It is very important to engage our youth at a young age to have an understanding of the importance of being part of their community and participating in positive programming,” said Mayor Domenic J. Sarno. “This project represents five years of hard negotiations with our federal government to ensure everyone affected by the tornado has been made whole.”

“Today’s groundbreaking represents another tangible development in our city’s rebuilding process from the damage that was done by the 2011 tornado. Who can forget that day five years ago when a funnel cloud touched down in the South End destroying large sections of this historic neighborhood? But working closely with Mayor Sarno and with the support of the people of Springfield we fought hard for the federal disaster assistance funds that continue to help make our recovery possible. And the groundbreaking of the new South End Community Center is another example of that. When completed, this $10 million facility will be a great asset to the local community,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal.

 “It has been a positive process in ensuring the funding for this project. I want to thank the FEMA regional office for their support and listening to our request and finally approving the funding required to rebuild this center,” said Chief Administrative and Financial Officer Timothy J. Plante.

“This project will revitalize Emerson Wight Park with positive programming. We are excited to welcome the SECC and look forward to collaborating on positive year round programs,” said Executive Director of PBRM Patrick Sullivan. “This center will create a new chapter for not only the South end Neighborhood but for all the families that enter through this new facility.”

Park Commission Chairman Brian Santaniello said, “The Park Commission is proud to be part of the continuation of the SECC.  All of us need to participate in providing our youth the opportunity to be in a safe environment.  This facility will once again be the heart and soul of the South End.”

“This facility will provide optimum programming opportunities.  The state of the art gym and classrooms will be an asset to this neighborhood and the Springfield Community. We are very pleased to be working with Fontaine Brothers on this project,” added Director of Capital Asset Peter Garvey.

“We at the South End Community Center are elated that this process has begun. It’s been five years and we are eager to get back to full capacity. Thanks to Mayor Sarno and City Officials for working closely with the SECC Board to make this happen,” said SECC Executive Director Chae Swan. “As the only all-inclusive public agency in the South End, SECC services are invaluable to families in the community, and the growth and development of our children.”

Page last updated:  Thursday, October 12, 2017 02:12 pm