FEMA Awards Over $5M to Mass National Guard for COVID-19 Response

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BOSTON — The Federal Emergency Management Agency will be sending more than $5 million to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to reimburse the Massachusetts National Guard for the costs of medical operations and logistical support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
The $5,080,750 Public Assistance grant will reimburse the Massachusetts National Guard for the cost of providing medical staff and setting up temporary hospitals to handle COVID patients between March and September 2020.
 
In addition to setting up and staffing the temporary hospitals, Guard members provided medical and general purpose forces to cope with staffing shortfalls at the Holyoke Soldiers Home; to plan, coordinate, and perform large scale mobile COVID-19 sample collection; and to provide care at long-term care facilities, rest homes, and assisted living facilities.
 
The Guard also provided security at temporary hospitals and shelters as well as transportation and logistical support to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), handling the transportation, warehousing, inventory management, and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE).
 
"FEMA is pleased to be able to assist the Massachusetts National Guard with these costs," said FEMA Region 1 Regional Administrator Lori Ehrlich. "Providing resources for our partners on the front lines of the pandemic fight is critical to their success, and our success as a nation."
 
FEMA's Public Assistance program is an essential source of funding for states and communities recovering from a federally declared disaster or emergency.
 
So far, FEMA has provided more than $1.4 billion in Public Assistance grants to Massachusetts to reimburse the commonwealth for pandemic-related expenses.
 
Additional information about FEMA's Public Assistance program is available at https://www.fema.gov/public-assistance-local-state-tribal-and-non-profit. To learn more about the COVID-19 response in Massachusetts, visit https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4496

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State Fire Marshal: Keep Warm, Keep Safe During Cold Snap

STOW, Mass. — With bitter cold temperatures heading our way this weekend, State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey is reminding residents to "Keep Warm, Keep Safe" and avoid fire and carbon monoxide (CO) hazards while heating their homes.
 
"Home heating equipment is the second-leading cause of residential fires and the main source of carbon monoxide at home," Ostroskey said. "Working smoke and CO alarms are your first line of defense against these hazards. With furnaces, fireplaces, and space heaters working overtime this weekend, be sure they're installed on every floor of your home and test them to be sure you and your family are protected.
 
Space Heaters
"It's important to keep space heaters at least three feet from curtains, bedding, and anything else that can burn," Ostroskey said. "Plug them directly into a wall socket, not an extension cord or a power strip, and remember that they're intended for temporary use. Always turn a space heater off when you leave the room or go to sleep."
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