Gloucester to Host One of Three Local Coastal Emergency Planning Meetings
GLOUCESTER — Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken and Fire Chief/Emergency Management Director Eric Smith announce that Gloucester will host one of three community meetings meant to better inform coastal residents about emergency preparedness.
- April 11 at 6 p.m. at Ipswich Town Hall, 25 Green St., Ipswich
- April 17 at 6 p.m. at Gloucester City Hall, 9 Dale Ave., Gloucester
- April 25 at 6 p.m. at Essex Town Hall, 30 Martin St., Essex
Leaders from the Cape Ann Emergency Planning Team
The Cape Ann Emergency Planning Team — in partnership with the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) and the National Wildlife Federation — invites residents of Cape Ann communities to attend one of three public meetings to learn more about coastal resilience and how it relates to emergency preparedness.
The meeting will allow emergency leaders to connect directly with residents and provide them with critical information about how first responders handle community-wide emergencies created by severe weather that has become increasingly common.
Leaders will emphasize the importance of individual preparedness, which can reduce the amount of strain placed on emergency services, and will offer a variety of steps residents in coastal communities can take on their own to avoid over-reliance on first responders during storms.
The sessions will also include an interactive component meant to illustrate the tangible impacts of climate change and sea level rise on coastal communities. The forum will also offer residents insight into the work being done in Cape Ann communities to mitigate those impacts and protect community assets.
“These issues are very real concerns that we’ll need to continue to address together as a community,” Chief Smith said. “These public discussions will help residents understand the work we do during widespread emergencies, and will also help them to be better prepared to protect themselves and their property from severe weather.”
Coastal resilience emphasizes developing natural solutions to offset the consequences of climate change and protect people and infrastructure from damaging floods.
“Making sure that we’re prepared for emergencies — both on a community-wide and individual level — is essential to keeping our city safe as we contend with the realities of more regular severe weather,” Mayor Theken said. “I hope everyone will take advantage of the chance to learn more about what they can do to be more self reliant and make our emergency personnel’s jobs easier.”
“These workshops will provide the public with a chance to learn a lot more about coastal resilience planning, which many people are not yet well-versed in,” Essex Town Administrator Brendhan Zubricki said. “Attendees will learn how our coastal environment is changing, how our emergency management officials view this emerging field and how residents can help prepare for the future.”
“Through the Coastal Resilience Grant Program, CZM actively works with communities and other partners to develop effective strategies to address shoreline erosion, flooding and climate change issues,” said CZM Director Bruce Carlisle. “As part of this effort, we are proud to partner with Gloucester, Essex and Ipswich on workshops to help residents prepare for increased frequency and intensity of storms.”