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Resource Documents

Western Massachusetts Social Media and Emergency Management

WRHSAC sponsored a social media and emergency management training that was completed in 2012 to assist emergency management directors and other first responders in developing skills and policies to successfully use social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, to communicate with the public. The training included 20 online modules that were designed to give first responders an in-depth understanding of using social media. Those modules are available for anyone interested in learning more about using social media in their first responder agency.

Western Massachusetts Emergency Communication Strategies

This report provides a summary of current emergency communication practices, including communication with the public and between response agencies, identifies communication gaps, and provides recommended actions to address those gaps. Click here to download the PDF.

Western Massachusetts Regional Shelter Plan Documents

WRHSAC, in partnership with the three regional planning agencies in Western Massachusetts, the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, the Franklin Regional Council of Governments and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, developed and implemented regional emergency sheltering plans in each county of western Massachusetts. The plan includes a concept of operations, standard operating guidelines, job action sheets, and related forms. The templates for the plan are below in PDF format. If you would like Word versions of the documents please contact Raine Brown, Homeland Security Program Manager.


June 1, 2011 Tornado AAR and Tropical Storm Irene 2011 AAR

WRHSAC conducted regionally based After Action Reports to review the regional response to both the June 1, 2011 Tornado that touched down in Hampden County and ran into Worcester County, and Tropical Storm Irene 2011. Both AARs showed the many strengths and areas for improvement in the response from first responder agencies throughout the region. WRHSAC uses both these documents to identify areas of need in emergency preparedness. The documents are considered “sensative but unclassified.” WRHSAC has therefore decided not to post the documents to the website. If you are interested in obtaining a copy of either AAR, please contact Raine Brown, Homeland Security Program Manager.

Disaster Recovery Plan

The Franklin County Regional Emergency Planning Committee, through a project sponsored by the Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council, created a template disaster recovery plan. The plan assists communities in deciding, before a disaster happens, what financial, organizational, and human resources will need to be addressed both short-term and long-term as they recover from a disaster. A disaster recovery plan differs from a continuity of operations plan (COOP). A COOP addresses how a business or government entity will keep operating during a disaster. A disaster recovery plan addresses how the entire community will recover after a disaster.

The Disaster Recovery Plan Template is available for download. It can be adapted for any community. The template is written in a “mad-libs” format. Words or sections that are likely to differ from community to community have been underlined and placed in parentheses.