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Equity in Emergency Management

Disasters and pandemics impact everyone, yet their consequences vary significantly depending on the demographic, socioeconomic, historical, and cultural attributes of a community. It is crucial for emergency management planning, response, and recovery to take these differences into account, recognizing the role they play in shaping how a community or region approaches a disaster or emergency incident. FEMA, in its latest Strategic Plan (2022 – 2026), has acknowledged the importance of equity in emergency management and response, making it one of their primary goals.

In the fall of 2022, WRHSAC initiated the Equity in Emergency Management project. The initial phase of the project focused on conducting a needs assessment to pinpoint gaps in the region that contribute to or exacerbate inequities in emergency preparedness, response, and recovery. Through a combination of research analysis and interviews with key stakeholders such as emergency managers, first responders, service providers, and underserved communities, the project aimed to create a comprehensive understanding of the current landscape of equity considerations in emergency management in western Massachusetts.

The findings were compiled into a thorough report, and specific reports for each county were also developed to highlight unique aspects within each locality. For easy access, both the comprehensive report and individual county reports can be obtained below.

WRHSAC Equity Project Western Mass Data Overview

WRHSAC Equity Project Berkshire County Data Report

WRHSAC Equity Project Franklin County Data Report

WRHSAC Equity Project Hampden County Data Report

WRHSAC Equity Project Hampshire County Data Report