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





Springfield Museums Named Smithsonian Affiliate

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Springfield Museums have been formally accepted as an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops long-term, high-quality partnerships with museums and educational organizations in order to share collections, exhibitions, learning opportunities and research expertise.

The partnership  has been made possible through the generous support of the MassMutual Foundation, which is providing a three-year, $145,000-plus grant to bring a wealth of resources and programming to Springfield, starting with the first-ever “Smithsonian Week in Springfield” (September 17 – 24).

The week  will feature presentations by Smithsonian experts such as Mary Savig, Curator of Manuscripts at the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art, who will speak at the Museums à la Carte lecture on September 22 and offer a workshop the following day to students from Springfield’s Conservatory of the Arts. Saturday, September 24 is Smithsonian Magazine’s “Museum Day Live!” which will include a visit to the Museums by Carrie Heflin of the National Museum of American History and free general admission tickets available for download at

“For us to continue to develop a culturally rich community, it is important that all of us – especially our children – have access to some of the world’s most treasured art collections, artifacts, and perspectives of the most renowned experts in the country,” said Roger Crandall, Chairman, President and CEO, MassMutual.  “The MassMutual Foundation’s support of the partnership between the Springfield Museums and the Smithsonian helps strengthen the cultural fabric of our community, and we are proud to do our share to provide opportunities that inspire people to never stop learning and growing.”

In addition to Crandall, other dignitaries taking part in the partnership announcement included Harold Closter, Director of Smithsonian Affiliations, Springfield Museums President Kay Simpson, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, and U.S. Representative Richard Neal. The day also included a presentation titled “Driving Around Mars” by planetary scientist John Grant from the National Air and Space Museum.

There are currently more than 200 institutions nationwide that have been selected to be Smithsonian Affiliates. In identifying possible candidates for affiliation, the Smithsonian seeks out organizations that share a common mission, a commitment to education and public service, and have the capability of bringing Smithsonian artifacts, exhibits, and programs to their venues. Candidates are subject to a rigorous application process involving all aspects of their organization, from their leadership and financial structure to a review of their collections management and programming protocols.

Those selected to be Affiliates enjoy a range of benefits, from facilitated object and exhibit loans and discounted Smithsonian memberships for their patrons to custom-developed education, performing arts, and public programs. Staff at the Smithsonian and the Museums have already commenced discussions of potential collaborative projects for the first three years of the affiliation, including object loans and additional visits from Smithsonian experts.

“We are very honored to begin this new partnership between Springfield Museums and the Smithsonian Institution,” stated Director Closter. “This affiliation builds on a long history of common interests in art, history, and science and prior collaborations, the Places of Invention exhibition and research project at the National Museum of American History being the latest.  We look forward to all the ways we will be working together to bring the Smithsonian to Springfield, beginning this weekend, and to tell Springfield’s incredible story to our national and international audiences.”

Given the diverse multi-disciplinary nature of their art, history, and science collections, the Springfield Museums are natural choice to become a Smithsonian Affiliate. The nationally-accredited consortium is the largest cultural organization in western Massachusetts, with four museums situated “Smithsonian style” around a 5.4 acre Quadrangle in downtown Springfield.  The consortium features the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, the Springfield Science Museum, the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts and the Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History, as well as the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden. A fifth museum, The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss, celebrating the life and career of Springfield resident Theodor Seuss Geisel, will open in 2017. 

“We are truly honored and excited to have been selected to become a Smithsonian Affiliate,” said Museums President Simpson. “We see this as an incredible opportunity to offer expanded exhibition, education and membership opportunities to our patrons, and to further enhance our standing as one of the region’s foremost cultural institutions. We deeply appreciate the support provided by the MassMutual Foundation in facilitating this new and exciting partnership.”


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