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Murray: State Needs to Review Shelters in Wake of Blizzard

(NECN) - One week ago, many people across New England were waiting for the blizzard to wind down so they could start to dig out. Now that most of the hard work is done, state officials are taking a closer look at issues beyond snow removal that are in need of immediate attention. For example, how well emergency shelters are equipped to meet the needs of those displaced.

Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray says she was shocked by how "badly prepared" the state was in terms of meeting the medical needs of very old, very ill, and psychologically troubled people.

"For the shelters, just an appalling eye opener for just about everybody that was in any of those shelters: the age of the people going to shelters and the medical frailty of many of the people who we didn't even know were living alone with help in their homes - and no help and with oxygen for four or five days, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder) dementia, incontinence, across the board, and nobody there, no medical personnel to help us," says Murray.

Murray says she'll push to ask how state and local health officials, nursing homes and hospitals can better help the old and the ill in future storm evacuations.

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