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Massachusetts Silver Jackets

The Massachusetts Team is comprised of representatives from Federal and State agencies which support comprehensive and sustainable actions that reduce flood risk within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Prior to the inception of the Massachusetts Team, Massachusetts has had an active State Hazard Mitigation Interagency Committee (SHMIC) since its creation in 1991, following two Presidential Disaster Declarations, Hurricane Bob in August and the Halloween Storm in October of that year. This committee, which consists of state, federal, and private sector organizations, is responsible for contributing to the development of the State Hazard Mitigation Plan as well as reviewing and endorsing project applications proposed by applicants for grant funding. Mitigation activities in Massachusetts are administered by an executive team called the State Hazard Mitigation Team (SHMT) comprised of staff from Department of Conservation and Recreation and Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. The SHMT is always seeking expansion of the Interagency Committee to improve the coordination of the mitigation activities in the Commonwealth.

Mission Statement

Through an interagency team of State and Federal agencies, a collaborative process will:

  • Facilitate strategic, integrated life-cycle mitigation actions to reduce the threat, vulnerability and consequences of flooding in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts;
  • Create or supplement a mechanism to collaboratively solve issues and implement or recommend solutions;
  • Foster leveraging of available resources, funding opportunities, technical expertise, tools and information between agencies;
  • Increase and improve flood risk communication and outreach;
  • Promote wise stewardship of the taxpayers’ investments;
  • Identify opportunities for integration of green and sustainable measures in all aspects of flood risk management;  
  • Inform the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers District Commander during response and recovery activities; and,
  • Integrate mitigation into recovery actions.

 

Team Activities

FFY17 Interagency Project – Charlemont, MA Flood Risk Management Plan

Photo of flooding in Massachusetts

Photo Credit: Katie Benedetti

The small town of Charlemont, MA experienced significant flooding in 2011 with damages exceeding $6 million and impacting critical facilities including the wastewater treatment plant; police, fire, and ambulance facilities/services; elementary school; and, two state highways. The town's 2015 Multi-hazard Mitigation Plan determined that flood risk remains high. Factors contributing to this risk include location of critical infrastructure within the Deerfield River floodplain and potential failure of multiple upstream high hazard dams in concert with a category 4 or 5 hurricane. The town has limited resources but is aware of the risk and desired to work with the Silver Jackets team to integrate existing and new data to assess vulnerabilities and develop a flood risk action plan and updated evacuation plan that will improve preparation and coordinated response between numerous entities including the town, Sewer District, and local industries. The Silver Jackets teams in partnership with the town will review all existing information including the local hazard mitigation plan, recently completed inundation maps, town plans, and lessons learned from recent flooding to complete the vulnerability assessment. Mitigation actions will be identified and prioritized with a focus on short term nonstructural actions.