Skip to Main Content

Maryland Emergency Management Agency


Governor Hogan Reminds Marylanders to Prepare for Continued Rain, Storms throughout this Week

MEMA Coordinating Damage Assessment Process in Frederick, Washington Counties 

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (May 17, 2018) — Rain is in the forecast for the remainder of this week and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan is reminding residents to be prepared for additional storms and flooding.

“Much of the state has already experienced heavy rain and flooding and these conditions are predicted to continue for the next several days,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “It is essential that everyone continue to monitor forecasts this week, prepare your homes and families for more rain, and avoid driving during thunderstorms. Remember – turn around, don’t drown!”

During spring, Maryland is at risk for heavy rainstorms, flooding, damaging winds, tornadoes, hail, and lightning. All of these hazards typically occur throughout the state. Residents can be weather prepared by ensuring that they know how to receive warnings, follow safety tips, and take the following actions:

  • Never enter an area where water is flowing over a road and you cannot see the pavement. During flooding, turn around, don’t drown!
  • Keep communications devices charged during storms so that you will have a way to follow weather forecasts and communicate with your family, friends, and neighbors.
  • If a severe thunderstorm warning is issued or if you are experiencing strong winds, get to a sturdy shelter and stay indoors and away from windows.
  • If you hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning. More than 98 percent of lightning casualties are from people outdoors—get indoors or inside your vehicle if possible.
  • Know who to contact in case of a power outage and report power outages to your utilities provider.
  • Document any damages to your home, property, and business and provide this information to your insurance company.

Areas in the national capital region and western Maryland were hit with heavy rainfall earlier this week. The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is currently working with local officials in Frederick and Washington counties to assess damages caused by flooding and coordinate any needed assistance from the state.

“Assessing damages is a step toward identifying, facilitating, and providing assistance to the affected areas,” said MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland. “We have been working closely with local officials to support response and recovery efforts in every way possible.”

Residents can find additional preparedness information on MEMA’s website. The agency will also be posting updated information throughout the week on social media. You can follow MEMA on Twitter or on Facebook.


Governor Larry Hogan Announces Over $1 Million Awarded for Stormwater Drainage System in Ellicott City

Howard County Residents, Businesses to Benefit from Multiyear Project Developed by MEMA and County

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (May 10, 2018) — Governor Hogan today announced that Maryland, in collaboration with Howard County, has been awarded $1,044,224 by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to fund a project that will reduce the flood risk of areas surrounding Main Street in Ellicott City.

On July 30, 2016, a massive flooding event affected low-lying areas of the Jones Falls and Patapsco valleys. The powerful storm was considered to be a “one-in-1000” year event, and it caused significant damage to the historic downtown area of Ellicott City and devastated businesses and homes. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced the grant award today during his public State Cabinet Meeting held in Howard County.

“This is another important step in the rebirth of downtown Ellicott City,” said Governor Hogan. “I want to thank FEMA and MEMA for playing a key role in securing funding for this project which will reduce the risk of future flood damage. We will continue to work with our federal, state, and local partners to help Howard County recover and thrive.”

The project will improve a culvert near Main Street. The storm drainage network will also be improved. The project’s main goal is to reduce flooding in the area and decrease flood risk of property owners. Howard County will coordinate the project and provide $400,000 in additional local funds.

“Since the July 2016 flood, the residents, businesses, and property owners have shown tremendous resilience and resolve. More than 96% of the businesses are back and more than 20 new businesses have joined the Main Street community,” said Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “We continue to attack the flooding issue by increasing stormwater retention, improving downstream conveyance, and providing floodproofing options and programs to the community. This grant will help us resolve a major trouble spot in Ellicott City’s West End.”

“Receiving this grant highlights two important principles of emergency preparedness for our State,” said MEMA’s Executive Director Russ Strickland. “The first is the continuous implementation of projects aimed at reducing the loss of life and property during disasters. The second is the leadership role that MEMA plays in facilitating access to the funding needed to accomplish risk reduction for and along with our local partners.”

MEMA’s hazard mitigation program aims to reduce or eliminate risks of disasters throughout the State. According to the National Centers for Environmental Information, the 2016 Ellicott City flood was at least the 9th “one-in-1000” year rain event in the U.S. since 2010. The flood was also the 3rd “one-in-1000” year rain event in 2016. Preparedness, resilience, and risk mitigation are as important to Maryland citizens and MEMA as the actions citizens take during a natural disaster or major emergency.

Through mitigation planning and project implementation, MEMA is able to assist communities in becoming more resilient and better prepared. The Howard County culvert improvement project is an example of how disaster risk reduction grants aim to prepare Maryland communities with subject matter experts, tools, and skills required to reduce risk and build back stronger in the event of a major disaster or emergency.


Spring Season Brings Chances for Hazardous Weather in Maryland

Spring Season Brings Chances for Hazardous Weather in Maryland

April 8-14 is Severe Storms Awareness Week

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (April 9, 2018) — Although it doesn’t quite feel like spring yet, now is the time to begin thinking about the upcoming severe storms season. This is Severe Storms Awareness Week, and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is teaming up with the National Weather Service and local emergency managers to promote citizen awareness
and preparedness.

During spring, Maryland is at risk for heavy rainstorms, flooding, damaging winds, tornadoes, hail and lightning. All of these hazards typically occur throughout the state; however, residents can “be weather prepared” by ensuring that they know how to receive warnings and practice safety tips.

“Severe Storms Awareness Week is a chance to highlight dangerous weather that often occurs in Maryland,” said Russ Strickland, Executive Director of MEMA. “This is the time to plan for what you or your family should do in case of a severe weather warning. Get to a safe space, then communicate with your neighbors, friends and family to make sure they’re aware of the situation and are safe.”

The National Weather Service agrees with that assessment. “Maryland frequently experiences severe storms during the spring,” said NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist Christopher Strong. “Damaging winds and flooding are the primary threats, but we also see hailstorms and tornadoes of various intensity.”

The National Weather Service and MEMA work closely together and with local emergency managers and other government agencies to identify and monitor severe weather systems, develop preparedness plans and safety information and coordinate the response to these storms.

  • Now is the time for residents to prepare for severe storms by taking the following actions:
    During flooding, never enter an area where water is flowing over a road and you cannot see the pavement. Turn around, don’t drown!
  • If a severe thunderstorm warning is issued or you are experiencing strong winds, get to a sturdy shelter and stay indoors away from windows.
  • Tornadoes can form rapidly in the right conditions. If there is a tornado warning or you see a tornado, quickly get inside and go to the lowest floor possible.
  • If you hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck from a fringe lightning strike. More than 98% of lightning fatalities are from people outdoors—get indoors or inside your vehicle if possible.

Download the Maryland Prepares app to your portable device to receive alerts of severe weather along with other handy features. Additional information can be found on the “Weather Ready” website at weather.gov/lwx/weatherready and the MEMA website at mema.maryland.gov.


Mobile Devices around National Capital Region to Receive Test Alert Thursday Government Agencies Conducting Wireless Emergency Alerts Test This Week

Mobile Devices around National Capital Region to Receive Test Alert Thursday Government Agencies Conducting Wireless Emergency Alerts Test This Week

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (April 2, 2018) — People who will be in or near the National Capital Region on Thursday, April 5, between 10-11 a.m. will be part of a regional Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) System test. Cell phones or other mobile devices in the area will receive the following message: “A test of the Wireless Emergency Alerts System. No action required.” WEA triggers a loud noise and text message on cell phones and enabled mobile devices.

Twenty jurisdictions will simultaneously issue a test message to the public through the WEA system. Local jurisdictions participating include: City of Alexandria, City of Bowie, City of College Park, City of Fairfax, City of Falls Church, City of Gaithersburg, City of Greenbelt, City of Takoma Park, City of Manassas, City of Manassas Park, City of Rockville, District of Columbia, Arlington County, Charles County, Fairfax County, Frederick County, Loudoun County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and Prince William County.

“Testing these notification systems is an important part of our preparedness system,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “During an imminent weather emergency or other serious threat, these alerts will save lives.”

During this test, it is possible that individuals may receive more than one alert message. Those who travel from one jurisdiction to another may hear messages from each jurisdiction. Also, people who live or travel in areas near the jurisdictions listed above may also receive the message because this technology uses cellular carrier towers.

Periodic testing of public alert and warning systems help assess the operational readiness of the system and identify any improvements. Public safety officials need to be sure that in times of an emergency or disaster, they have reliable methods and systems that will deliver urgent alerts and warnings to the public. Conducting a regional test supports the continued use, training, and improvement of the WEA system.

“Drills like these help us to ensure that our systems allow emergency managers to quickly communicate with you,” said Russ Strickland, executive director of MEMA. “During an incident, it is important to listen to messages and information from federal, state, and local officials and communicate any protective actions with your family, friends, and neighbors.”

Since its launch in 2012, the WEA system has been used more than 33,000 times nationwide to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations. Additional information on WEA is located at: https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/wireless-emergency-alerts-wea.


Heavy Snow, Sleet, and Windy Weather to Continue to Affect Maryland Tuesday and Wednesday

Heavy Snow, Sleet, and Windy Weather to Continue to Affect Maryland
Tuesday and Wednesday

Residents Should Prepare Now and Avoid Traveling during Storm

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (March 20, 2018) — The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is monitoring a late-season storm and coordinating state agencies in anticipation of heavy wet snow, wind gusts, and frozen precipitation which will continue to impact Maryland through Wednesday.

The National Weather Service is forecasting snowfall to intensify tonight, affecting the morning commute and travel conditions tomorrow. Minor tidal flooding is also possible with this system. Most of Maryland has been placed under a Winter Storm Advisory or Warning on Tuesday.

“Snow, sleet, and freezing rain falling this evening and overnight could make road conditions treacherous throughout the state. I strongly urge all Marylanders to use common sense, take extreme caution, and avoid travel if possible,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Keep a close eye on your local weather forecast, and check on family, friends, and neighbors and make sure they are safe throughout this late-season storm.”

MEMA continues to coordinate weather calls and monitor this system with the National Weather Service, state, and local partners. Roads might be slick and traveling during in this weather will be hazardous; avoid traveling if possible.

“Residents should prepare now because roads are becoming slick. Travel overnight and through tomorrow could be significantly impacted,” said MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland. “If you need to travel, be sure to take your time and let family know your destination and expected arrival time.”

Residents should consider taking the following actions:
• Let friends and family know when you are traveling. Tell them your route and expected arrival time. Contact them once you make it to your destination.
• Be cautious shoveling snow or ice to avoid overexertion. Take frequent breaks and keep hydrated.
• Avoid or delay travel during the storm. If you must travel, make sure to have car chargers, kitty litter or sand for traction.
• Never run generators indoors or in closed areas.
• Closely monitor updated weather forecasts and keep electronic communications devices charged.
• Heavy snow and gusty winds can cause power outages. Emergency phone numbers for utility companies can be found here: http://mema.maryland.gov/Pages/PowerOutages.aspx

Traffic, weather and power outage alerts, as well as winter preparedness information, can be accessed on the Maryland Emergency Management Agency’s website at mema.maryland.gov. You can also follow MEMA on Twitter @MDMEMA or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MDMEMA for updated information.


MEMA Monitoring Series of Winter Storms Expected to Bring Mix of Precipitation to Parts of State

Residents Should Be Aware and Take Appropriate Actions to Stay Safe

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (March 19, 2018) — A series of winter storms is expected to bring frozen precipitation to parts of Maryland, starting tonight and continuing through Wednesday. Timing, temperature and the exact track of each of the systems is still somewhat uncertain, but residents should prepare now for possible travel delays. The most likely snow accumulations in northern and central Maryland are expected to occur overnight Tuesday into Wednesday morning, possibly affecting rush hour traffic.

“This winter storm is extremely unpredictable, so preparedness is key,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Over the next few days, I urge Marylanders to closely follow current weather forecasts, use common sense, and avoid travel if possible during any dangerous conditions.”

Said Russell Strickland, executive director of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA): “Don’t underestimate this storm because Tuesday is the first day of spring. We are looking at several days of precipitation with temperatures close to freezing. Travel by car or foot could be dangerous.”

MEMA is coordinating conference calls with the four National Weather Service Offices that serve the state, along with key state agencies and local emergency managers. The agency stands ready to mobilize resources in support of local agencies as needed.

Because there is still uncertainty about effects of these systems, residents should follow trusted weather sources and be prepared to adjust travel contact information.as needed. Residents in different areas of Maryland may face different effects from this weather system.

Additionally, Maryland residents should consider taking the following actions:

  • Closely monitor updated weather forecasts and keep electronic communications devices charged.
  • Check on family, neighbors and friends, especially those who might have difficulty dealing with the effects of the weather.
  • Be cautious shoveling snow or ice to avoid overexertion. Take frequent breaks and keep hydrated.
  • If you must travel, make sure to have car chargers, kitty litter or sand for traction. Let friends or family know of your travel route and expected arrival time.
  • Never run generators indoors or in closed areas.
  • Know who to contact in the case of a power outage. Emergency phone numbers for utility companies can be found at http://mema.maryland.gov/Pages/PowerOutages.asp

Traffic, weather and power outage alerts, as well as winter preparedness information, can be accessed on the Maryland Emergency Management Agency’s website at mema.maryland.gov.

You can also follow MEMA on Twitter @MDMEMA or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MDMEMA for updated information.


What does a “State of Emergency” mean?

What does a “State of Emergency” mean?

In response to the damaging winds resulting in power outages, downed trees, and dangerous travel conditions across the state due to Winter Storm Riley, Governor Larry Hogan has declared a State of Emergency.

The executive order will allow the state to efficiently coordinate support and provide additional assistance to local jurisdictions. Dangerous conditions may continue throughout the weekend.

Here is information on what a state of emergency means.

Not all states of emergency are the same. Each state of emergency is different and can change depending on the severity of the event or emergency.  Be sure to check with your local news and with MEMA for updated information related to states of emergency.

A state of emergency is declared in order to allow Maryland to coordinate and request emergency resources and support. A state of emergency allows the Governor to access certain resources in order to increase the State’s response.

A state of emergency is a good indicator that residents should remain alert and follow officials’ orders, news stations, and weather forecasts in order to be informed of the situation. In this particular case, residents are being advised that they should prepare for a significant winter storm and that motorists should avoid nonessential travel after the snow begins to fall. Here is additional information about this state of emergency:

Will schools be closed?

States of Emergencies typically do not mandate school closures. It usually is the local school district’s decision to stay open or to close.

Will stores and businesses be open?

This state of emergency does not require employers to close. We ask that all employers consider employee safety at all times.

Can I drive on the roads?

Motorists are not prohibited from driving on the roads at this time. Use common sense–if you must drive and cannot change your plans, please do so carefully.  Give yourself extra time to get to your destination.  Let family or friends know your route and expected arrival time.


Governor Larry Hogan Declares State of Emergency for Winter Storm Riley

Click here to read the State of Emergency press release.

Click here to read the executive order.


Governor Hogan Urges Marylanders to Prepare for Extreme Winds Beginning Friday Morning

Governor Hogan Urges Marylanders to Prepare for Extreme Winds Beginning Friday Morning

Dangerous Conditions Outdoors and Power Outages Possible

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (March 1, 2018) — The storm system that will affect the entire state of Maryland beginning Thursday evening is expected to bring extreme wind and rain across Maryland. The most dangerous conditions are forecast to begin by 6am Friday morning, with gusty winds continuing throughout the weekend.

“I urge all Marylanders to take this severe weather very seriously and prepare now,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “These wind speeds have the potential of causing power outages and creating hazardous conditions for travel and being outdoors starting Friday morning. Be sure to check on your family, friends, and neighbors so that we all are prepared for this rare and potentially very dangerous weather event.”

Wind gusts of up to 70 or more miles per hour are forecast for tomorrow morning and will push through into the weekend according the National Weather Service. The Maryland Emergency Management Agency continues to actively monitor this storm and coordinate with state and local partners to ensure readiness.

“Residents need to prepare for this system now. These forecasted wind gusts are very serious,” said MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland.  “Take the time now to go out and secure all loose objects outside that could blow away. Keep devices fully charged, before the wind starts blowing, in case the power goes. If at all possible, do not go out during the height of the storm.”

In addition to the high winds, accumulating snow is possible in western Maryland Thursday night into Friday. Other parts of western and central Maryland can expect some frozen precipitation to mix with the rain for part of the storm, but the wind is expected to present the greatest danger. Additionally, tidal flooding is possible along the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean on both Friday and Saturday. The National Weather Service is also predicting severe beach erosion for areas of the Eastern Shore and dangerous marine conditions.

Residents can take the following actions to prepare for high winds and related hazards:

  • Check on relatives, neighbors, and friends if possible, especially those who might be seriously affected by a power outage.
  • Avoid traveling early in the morning during the height of the storm. Let family and friends know of your destination, route, and expected arrival time.
  • Know how to contact your electric supplier if the power goes out. For a list of power company contacts or to keep track of outages in Maryland, visit mema.maryland.gov. Put their phone number in your contact list and save it.
  • Power Outages can be monitored here: http://mema.maryland.gov/Pages/PowerOutagesData.aspx
  • If you use a generator during a power outage, make sure to follow all safety recommendations and never run a generator inside a building or near windows and vents.
  • Make sure not to leave pets outside during the storm.

For more preparedness information, visit mema.maryland.gov or ready.gov.


Residents Should Prepare Now for Strong Winds Beginning Tonight

Residents Should Prepare Now for Strong Winds Beginning Tonight

MEMA Monitoring Storm System that will Bring Rain, High Winds, Possible Power Outages

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (March 1, 2018) – Marylanders should prepare now for a storm front that is expected to bring rain and possibly damaging winds across much of the state later tonight through Saturday. The National Weather Service is predicting wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour. The Maryland Emergency Management Agency is actively monitoring this storm and coordinating with state and local partners to ensure readiness.

“This storm has the potential to knock down trees, cause extended power outages, and cause dangerous debris,” said MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland.  “Make sure to keep devices fully charged in case the power goes out and try to secure any loose objects around your property. If at all possible, do not go out during the height of the storm.”

Accumulating snow is possible in extreme western Maryland Thursday night into Friday. Other parts of western and central Maryland can expect some frozen precipitation to mix with the rain for part of the storm, but the wind is expected to present the greatest danger. Additionally, tidal flooding is possible along the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean on both Friday and Saturday. The National Weather Service is also predicting severe beach erosion for areas of the Eastern Shore and dangerous marine conditions.

Residents can take the following actions to prepare for high winds and related hazards:

  • Check on relatives, neighbors, and friends if possible, especially those who might be seriously affected by a power outage.
  • If you must be out during the storm, let family and friends know of your destination, route, and expected arrival time.
  • Know how to contact your electric supplier if the power goes out. For a list of power company contacts or to keep track of outages in Maryland, visit mema.maryland.gov.
  • If you do not already have one, consider using a car charger to keep devices charged if you lose power for a long time.
  • If you use a generator during a power outage, make sure to follow all safety recommendations and never run a generator inside a building or near windows and vents.
  • Make sure not to leave pets outside during the storm.

For more preparedness information, visit mema.maryland.gov or ready.gov.


Subscribe to MEMA

News Archives

ae1a-ewspw-web2