CMDART – Central Massachusestts Disaster Animal Response Team


Emergency contact information for CMDART


CMDART does not self-deploy. We only respond to calls from established Emergency Response Organizations. We are dedicated to our local community of Central Massachusetts, but have responded across state lines and nationally. We are a disaster, emergency response organization and generally do not respond to general animal rescue incidents. That said, we can and do support local Animal Control if the need arises for incidents that overwhelm local resources and abilities.

Volunteers, please watch your emails during inclement weather. We will send notices of standby for possible emergency animal sheltering. In large events, you may receive a notice via an automated call system. It is important to respond when requested so we can adequately serve our communities. Please make sure to update your contact information with [email protected]  if you have any changes. 

Planning Ahead

Searching for Shelters Before Disaster Emergencies

CMDART encourages Central Massachusetts municipalities and residents to be on the scout for facilities suitable for emergency animal shelters. These sites should be pre-determined and registered BEFORE a disaster strikes and are part of the Memorandum of Understanding that towns agree to when enlisting the services of CMDART. In general, they should be near the human shelter sites in order to aid pet owner accessibility during a disaster.

Facilities should have:

* proper water
* intake and interviewing space
* outside exercise and toilet areas for pets
* quarters to separate cats from dogs
* temperature controlled area for other pocket pets and reptiles
* room or large hallway for medical triage
* handicapped access if possible
* decontamination and bathing area for animals
* easy and secured access in and out of the facility to avoid traffic hang ups and animal encounters
* storage area for equipment and food
* outdoor space for large animal trailers
* loading and unloading area
* space for staff, sleeping/eating if possible

Just to name a few….

For a complete list of facility criteria contact [email protected] to get more information and to register an interest in having your facility considered as a potential emergency animal site.



The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has offered these winter safety articles.MEMA is the state agency charged with ensuring the state is prepared to withstand, respond to, and recover from all types of emergencies and disasters, including natural hazards, accidents, deliberate attacks, and technological and infrastructure failures. MEMA’s staff of professional planners, communications specialists and operations and support personnel is committed to an all hazards approach to emergency management. By building and sustaining effective partnerships with federal, state and local government agencies, and with the private sector – – individuals, families, non-profits and businesses – – MEMA ensures the Commonwealth’s ability to rapidly recover from large and small disasters by assessing and mitigating threats and hazards, enhancing preparedness, ensuring effective response, and strengthening our capacity to rebuild and recover. Continue to follow MEMA updates on Twitter at; Facebook at; and YouTube at Download the free ping4alert! app to your Smartphone to receive important weather alerts and messages from MEMA. Easy instructions are available at




Tips for Power Outages

FRAMINGHAM, MA – “Severe Winter Weather, including heavy wet snow, sleet, freezing rain and high winds, has the potential to cause power outages throughout the Commonwealth,” warns Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Director Kurt Schwartz. “The weight of a one-half inch ice build-up can be enough to snap tree limbs, causing them to fall and bring down power lines disrupting electrical service.”

MEMA has the following tips for dealing with a possible winter power outage:

– Check flashlights and portable radios to ensure that they are working, and you have extra batteries as part of your Winter Emergency Kit. A radio is an important source of weather and emergency information during a storm.
– If the power is out, use flashlights or other battery-powered lights if possible, instead of candles. If you must use them, place candles in safe holders away from anything that could catch fire. Never leave a burning candle unattended.

– If a storm is coming that may bring power outages, fully charge your cell phone, laptop, and any other devices in advance of a power outage.

– Consider purchasing a solar-powered or hand crank charger. If you own a car, purchase a car phone charger because you can charge your phone if you lose power at your home.

– Download the free ping4alert! app to your Smartphone to receive important weather alerts and messages from MEMA. Easy instructions are available at

– If your water supply could be affected by a power outage (a well-water pump system), fill your bathtub and spare containers with water. Water in the bathtub should be used for sanitation purposes only, not as drinking water. Pouring a pail of water from the tub directly into the bowl can flush a toilet.

– Set your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings (remember to reset them back to normal once power is restored). During an outage, do not open the refrigerator or freezer door. Food can stay cold in a full refrigerator for up to 24 hour, and in a well-packed freezer for 48 hours (24 hours if it is half-packed).

– Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40° F (4° C) for 2 hours or more or that has an unusual odor, color or texture. When in doubt, throw it out!


Precautions for Extreme Cold

FRAMINGHAM, MA – “As we enter the time of year when we can expect extremely low temperatures and wind chills, we all must take precautions to minimize the dangers presented by such severe weather,” stated Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Director Kurt Schwartz. “To that end, MEMA presents these cold weather safety tips.”

– Continue to be aware of extreme weather conditions by monitoring Media reports.

– Make sure you always have a well-stocked Winter Home Emergency Supply Kit that includes flashlights, portable radio, extra batteries, a first aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable food and a manual can opener.

– Minimize outside activities, particularly the elderly and very young. Also, consider your pets.

– Dress in several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing, rather than a single layer of heavy clothing. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Wear a hat, mittens and sturdy waterproof boots, protecting your extremities. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.

– Excessive exposure can lead to frostbite, which is damaging to body tissue that is frozen. Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and a pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers, toes, ear lobes or the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, seek medical help immediately.

– Hypothermia can occur in extreme cases. The warning signs are uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. If the person’s temperature drops below 95 degrees, seek immediate medical care.

– Ensure you have sufficient heating fuel, as well as emergency heating equipment in case you lose electricity.