Access-Functional Needs Resources

The Administration for Children & Families Office of Refugee Resettlement created this booklet to educate arriving refugees on the types of hazardous weather experienced in the United States that they may be unfamiliar with, as well as how to prepare for such events.

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The Department of Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties offers these resources for use when serving individuals with limited English proficiency.

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The Massachusetts Department of Public Health Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management created this free mobile application to enhance communication between public health and emergency management personnel and volunteers and individuals with communication challenges across a variety of emergency settings.

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The Massachusetts Department of Public Health Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management created this guide as a compilation of resources to assist in public health preparedness planning for individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.

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The Drexel University National Resource Center on Advancing Emergency Preparedness for Culturally Diverse Communities offers a broad array of resources, information, and materials that can be browsed by region, community, emergency, or resource type.

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New York City Emergency Management created this episode of “We Are New York” in collaboration with the NYC Mayor’s Office and the City University of New York in order to educate individuals who are learning English on important ideas and vocabulary concerning disasters and preparedness.

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The Massachusetts Office for Refugees & Immigrants created this Emergency Preparedness Guide for Newcomer Populations to reduce confusion around disasters, and provide important emergency information to all people living in the Commonwealth.

Go to Guide offers many materials for individuals with functional needs, including go-kit creation guides and template emergency plans.

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Business Preparedness Resources

The Department of Homeland Security created this guide to assist businesses in developing a preparedness plan that addresses the impact of many hazards.

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The Voluntary Private Sector Preparedness Program encourages organizations to institute a management system that addresses business continuity, organizational resilience, and emergency management. The Department of Homeland Security provides recognition and certification to organizations that successfully adopt the program’s preparedness standards.

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The Business Continuity Planning Suite is a program developed by the Department of Homeland Security’s National Protection and Programs Directorate and FEMA. This software is intended for use by any business with the need to create, improve, or update its business continuity plan.

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The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) partnered with the non-profit Business Network of Emergency Resources (BNET) to implement the Corporate Emergency Access System (CEAS) in Massachusetts. CEAS uses a “critical employee access card” system to mitigate economic loss and maintain critical infrastructure when unforeseen events limit access to the workplace.

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The Red Cross Ready Rating Program is a free and voluntary program designed to help businesses and organizations become better prepared for emergencies. Complete a short online self-assessment and receive customized feedback with tips to improve preparedness.

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The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers guidance and resources for small business owners on topics including disaster assistance, disaster cleanup, disaster preparedness and recovery plans, and more.

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The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) developed this eTool to help small, low-hazard service or retail businesses to implement an emergency action plan and comply with OSHA’s emergency standards.

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Cybersecurity Resources

Cyber Essentials

The following six videos and training modules were developed by NERAC  in partnership with the other Regional Homeland Security Councils (Central, Southeast, and West) and cover topics from recently published online cybersecurity training modules funded by the State’s homeland security councils based on content from the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Agency (CISA).

The Department of Homeland Security created the following resources and materials in order to inform federal, state, and local government officials and employees about cybersecurity.

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The Department of Homeland Security created the following resources and materials in order to aid Law Enforcement personnel in combating cybercrime and spreading cybersecurity awareness in their communities.

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) provides the public with a mechanism to report suspected Internet-facilitated criminal activity.

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The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team’s (US-CERT) National Cyber Awareness System is a free, subscription based notification system that provides regular updates on security topics and threats. The system offers information designed for those with technical expertise, as well as advice for the general public.

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The MassCyberCenter created a resource page to encourage Minimum Baseline of Cybersecurity for Municipalities is to encourage municipalities to improve their cybersecurity posture, inspire collaboration, and engage with other cities and towns to strengthen cybersecurity resiliency. 

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Citizen Preparedness Resources

The American Red Cross created a three-step instructional module that demonstrates basic preparedness practices.

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 The Medical Reserve Corps offers this resource to help interested individuals to identify their local MRC team.

Go to Resource offers advice and best practices to families and individuals seeking to built their own basic disaster supply kit.

Go to Builder offers a variety of templates to aid families and individuals in creating their own emergency plan.

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SafeHome.Org has created an all-hazards guide for household preparedness.

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Independent Study Courses

FEMA has developed a library of online courses that are part of their Independent Study Program to provide those with emergency management responsibilities the opportunity to obtain training on their own schedule.  To take any of the courses below, click on the link provided and then go to the “Interactive Web Based Course” link on the right hand side of the page to begin.

Note: If you do not already have a FEMA Student Identification Number (SID), you will be asked to create one through a link at the top of the page.

This course introduces the Incident Command System (ICS) and provides the foundation for higher level ICS training. This course describes the history, features and principles, and organizational structure of the Incident Command System. It also explains the relationship between ICS and the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

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ICS 200 is designed to enable personnel to operate efficiently during an incident or event within the Incident Command System (ICS). ICS-200 provides training on and resources for personnel who are likely to assume a supervisory position within the ICS.

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This course introduces and overviews the National Incident Management System (NIMS), which provides a consistent nationwide template to enable all government, private-sector, and nongovernmental organizations to work together during domestic incidents.

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The course introduces participants to the concepts and principles of the National Response Framework (NRF), which provides context for how the whole community works together during disaster response and how response efforts relate to other parts of national preparedness.

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The goal of this course is to acquaint new personnel with the position of emergency manager, including history and underlying principles of emergency management, key areas of emphasis, the emergency manager’s roles and responsibilities, and tips for getting started.

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This course introduces the basics of emergency management exercises, including how to manage an exercise program and how to design/develop an exercise. It also builds a foundation for subsequent exercise courses, which provide the specifics of the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) and the National Standard Exercise Curriculum (NSEC).

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IS-130 introduces the basics of emergency management exercise evaluation and improvement planning. It also builds a foundation for exercise evaluation concepts as identified in the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP).

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The goal of this course is to introduce students to the fundamentals of emergency management. The course presents emergency management as an integrated system with resources and capabilities networked together to address all hazards.

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This course describes the role, design, and functions of Emergency Operations Centers and their relationships as components of a multi-agency coordination system. It contains disaster-related examples, activities and case studies that relate to EOC’s and multi-agency coordination systems at the local, state and federal levels of government.

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This course is designed to help prepare non-law enforcement officers to be able describe actions that can be taken when they are confronted with an active shooter situation and actions that can be taken to prevent and prepare for active shooter incidents.

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The purpose of this course is to introduce senior officials to the important role they play in emergency management and the steps that they can take to become acquainted with their role, authorities, and team members.

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School Safety Preparedness Resources

The Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC) School Threat Assessment and Response System (STARS) program has become a nationally recognized model, and has further expanded its response capabilities in the area of school-based mental health, including psychological triage and recovery. The NEMLEC STARS Toolkit website provides downloadable copies of the STARS Toolkit 2nd Edition and the customizable School Emergency Operations Plan.

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The American Red Cross, in partnership with Disney, sponsors the “Pillowcase” preparedness education program for children in grades 3 – 5. The program is designed to teach students about personal and family preparedness, local hazards, and basic coping skills.

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A task force was convened to investigate and study best practices and policies for ensuring safety in K-12 schools. The report is intended to be a guide for developing and implementing practices to ensure students are both safe and feel that they are safe. 

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This tool box provides a virtual library of resources developed by school emergency managers in the field. It contains tools to aid school personnel engaged in emergency management planning.

Go to Tool Box offers lessons for use by educators to teach children about preparedness. has compiled this list of planning and training resources to aid colleges and universities in their efforts to prepare their campuses for emergencies.

Save the Children created this toolkit to help families and educators teach children about preparedness through activities and videos. 

Go to Resource. was created by the federal government to provide schools and districts with actionable recommendations to create a safe and supportive learning environment.



NERAC Tactical Interoperable Communications Plan (TICP)

This document establishes a Tactical Interoperable Communications Plan (TICP) for the
Massachusetts Northeast Homeland Security Planning Region. The TICP is intended to document
what interoperable communications resources are available within the Northeast Homeland
Security Planning Region, which agencies control each resource, and what operational
procedures exist for the activation and deactivation of each resource.

The publication of the Massachusetts Northeast Homeland Security Planning Region TICP
provides tactical guidance to emergency responders at the regional level as interoperable
communications progresses from a local response to a state “Level 3” incident or greater. The
policies and procedures set forth in this plan utilize and build upon interoperability standards
adopted by the Massachusetts State Interoperability Executive Committee (SIEC) and the
Standard Operating Procedures existing within participating agencies.

Click here to view the NERAC TICP