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





City of Springfield Announces Smart911 as Emergency Preparedness Initiative

Public Safety Officials Encourage All Residents to Sign Up For the Free Service That Provides Emergency Responders with More Information

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Police Commissioner John Barbieri, Fire Commissioner Joseph Conant and Dispatch Director Melissa Nazzaro announced today the City of Springfield’s new emergency response initiative, Smart911. Smart911 allows citizens to create a Safety Profile at for their household that includes any information they want 9-1-1 and first responders to have in the event of an emergency. This information enables faster and more effective emergency response by law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services.

Mayor Sarno stated, “The more pre-info/history we can get to our brave police and firefighters can only enhance their life and structure saving efforts in keeping our residents safe and sound.”

When a citizen makes a 9-1-1 call, their Safety Profile is automatically displayed to the 9-1-1 call taker, allowing them to send the right first responders to the right location with the right information.  

 “Smart911saves critical time in an emergency and has proven to save lives nationwide,” said Commissioner Barbieri. “The additional tools provided in the Smart911 platform saves critical time in an emergency when seconds can be the difference between life and death.”

With Smart911, citizens can link both home and work addresses to mobile phones, which can be passed on to first responders in the field for more a detailed, rapid response.  Additional information including pets in the home, vehicle details in the event of an accident, and even emergency contacts can all be included in a Safety Profile.  All information is optional and residents have the ability to choose what details they would like to include. Enhanced information makes officers better informed to provide improved service.

“Firefighters having the proper information when responding to your home or location for an emergency will provide you and your family with a greater chance for survival and a more successful outcome in your time of need,” said Commissioner Conant.

Smart911 is currently available in 40 states and more than 1,500 municipalities across the country, and has been credited with positively impacting emergency outcomes including a missing child in which the girls photo and physical description were immediately available to 9-1-1 and responders, as well as a heart attack victim where an address and medical notes allowed responders to be dispatched to his location quickly.

“GPS cell locations inside buildings are inaccurate, so the extra information provided in a Smart911 profile helps to quickly locate a 9-1-1 cell caller having an emergency in their home or apartment. This saves critical time when identifying a dispatchable location, especially during an emergency when the caller cannot tell us exactly where they are,” said Melissa Nazzaro.

Springfield residents are encouraged to create their Safety Profile with Smart911 today at to have their information immediately available to 9-1-1 and to receive emergency notifications. Smart911 is private and secure, is only used for emergency responses, and only made available to the 9-1-1 system in the event of an emergency call.

For further information please visit

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