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Maryland Emergency Management Agency


MAY 24-30 is Maryland Hurricane Preparedness Week

THE SUMMER SEASON BRINGS POTENTIAL HURRICANE DANGERS TO MARYLAND

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (May 24, 2015) — Maryland Hurricane Preparedness Week begins on Sunday, May 24, and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is teaming up with the National Weather Service (NWS) and local emergency managers to promote citizen awareness and preparedness. The Atlantic Hurricane season lasts from June to November. Most hurricane-like weather is seen mid-August and late October.  These storms can cause strong winds, heavy rain, inland flooding, and other severe weather. Residents in Maryland can “be weather ready” by ensuring that they know how to get a warning, have a plan, and practice safety tips.

“Maryland Hurricane Preparedness Week is an important reminder that dangerous weather does occur in Maryland and when it affects our residents it affects all of us,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Oftentimes, the safest action during a hurricane is the simplest action – common sense.”

“While the last two hurricane seasons have been relatively quiet, we all remember the devastation from Hurricane Sandy in 2012, especially in the New York City area and on Maryland’s lower eastern shore,” said MEMA Executive Director Clay Stamp. “It’s important for us to always be prepared because even in a quiet hurricane season, just one hurricane making landfall in our area can be devastating.”

The NWS highlights that in Maryland it is possible to see hurricanes or hurricane-like activity during the summer. “Damage to coastlines and destruction several hundred miles inland can be seen with these tropical storms,” said NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist Chris Strong. “Hurricanes can produce 150+ miles per hour winds, devastating high tides, flooding from torrential rain, and even tornadoes.”

The NWS and MEMA work closely together and with local government agencies to identify and monitor hurricane activity, develop preparedness plans and safety information, and coordinate the response to these storms.

Residents can also take actions to remain safe by practicing the following tips:

  • Stay tuned to radio and TV stations for official weather information.
  • Follow instructions and advice given by emergency officials.
  • Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
  • Close all interior doors – secure and brace external doors.
  • Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level.
  • Avoid using the phone except in the case of emergencies.
  • Avoid elevators
  • If you live in a mobile home, plan to leave. Mobile homes are unsafe in high winds.
  • Do not attempt to evacuate during the height of a hurricane. You are safer in your home than out on the road
  • Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as for cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill a bathtub or other large container with the water. This is important for those whose water runs off of an electrical system.

Additional information can be on MEMA’s website at mema.maryland.gov. Residents can also download the free MARYLAND Prepares mobile app at mema.maryland.gov/Pages/mdprepares.aspx.

NOTE: MEMA executives are available for live or taped interviews to discuss hurricane preparedness and safety.

CONTACT:
Chas Eby
chas.eby@maryland.gov
410-274-6690

Ed McDonough
ed.mcdonough@maryland.gov
410-446-3333

Emily Allen
emily.allen@maryland.gov
410-504-4437


Maryland Emergency Management Agency, Partners Prepare for Upcoming Atlantic Hurricane Season

MEMA Executive Director Clay Stamp delivers opening remarks for the Maryland Hurricane Symposium.

MEMA Executive Director Clay Stamp delivers opening remarks for the Maryland Hurricane Symposium held on Monday May 18, 2015.

MEMA Officials Available for Interviews with Press

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (May 18, 2015)The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and many local and state partners prepared for the upcoming hurricane season at a day-long seminar today. The event included sessions on economic recovery, hurricane preparedness efforts by businesses, and management of donations and volunteers following a devastating storm.

“While the last two hurricane seasons have been relatively quiet, we all remember the devastation from Hurricane Sandy in 2012, especially in the New York City area and on Maryland’s lower eastern shore,” said MEMA Executive Director Clay Stamp. “It’s important for us to always be prepared because even in a quiet hurricane season, just one hurricane making landfall in our area can be devastating.”

Attendees also heard a presentation from Chris Strong of the National Weather Service Baltimore/Washington Field Office, which included an update on awareness products, such as alert systems and briefing packages. MEMA staff followed this by discussing new geographic information systems (GIS) tools for hurricane damage assessment following a storm.

“MEMA and partner agencies work together on a regular basis to ensure the State has an efficient response to all hazards that could impact Maryland,” said Brendan McCluskey, MEMA’s Director of Preparedness. “Residents can practice preparedness by building an emergency kit and visiting our website to check if they reside in a flood prone area.”

The seminar was attended by MEMA staff, federal, local, non-profit, and private-sector emergency managers, and representatives from State agencies that staff the State Emergency Operations Center during emergencies. Hurricane season officially begins on June 1, although the first named tropical system – Ana – developed off the Carolinas and brought heavy rains on shore earlier this month.

Hurricane preparedness information can be found on the MEMA website at mema.maryland.gov and by downloading the MARYLAND Prepares free, mobile app on either iOS or Android operating systems.

NOTE: MEMA executives are available for live or taped interviews to discuss hurricane safety and preparedness actions for the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season.

CONTACT:

Chas Eby
chas.eby@maryland.gov
410-274-6690

Ed McDonough
ed.mcdonough@maryland.gov
410-446-3333

Emily Allen
emily.allen@maryland.gov
410-504-4437


Governor Hogan’s Request For Physical Disaster Declaration Approved By U.S. Small Business Administration

SBA Low-Interest Loans Available To Qualifying Businesses And Residents Affected By Violence In Baltimore City

ANNAPOLIS, MD (May 11, 2015) – Governor Larry Hogan today announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved his request for a physical disaster declaration for the City of Baltimore due to civil unrest in late April and early May. This declaration will allow affected businesses, homeowners, and renters to apply for low-interest loans to repair damages that occurred due to this violence.

“Many businesses, homeowners, and residents were tragically affected by the violence and destruction that occurred in Baltimore City last week,” said Governor Hogan. “The loans offered by the SBA are an important tool for helping businesses rebuild and return to being a vital part of Baltimore’s community and economy.”

State officials from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) joined Baltimore City and SBA staff last week to assess damages in order to apply for this program.

“This approval will allow recovery efforts that have been underway for more than a week to continue,” said Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford. “I encourage all affected business owners to determine if they qualify for these loans.”

“I want to thank Governor Hogan and the SBA for quickly authorizing the disaster loan program as the state continues to support Baltimore City with various programs to help residents recover and heal,” said MEMA Executive Director Clay Stamp.

Residents can go to the following two locations to apply for assistance. SBA staff at these centers will help residents apply for low-interest loans to repair damaged homes and businesses:

DISASTER LOAN OUTREACH CENTER CITY OF BALTIMORE-EAST
Southeast Anchor Library
3601 Eastern Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland 21224

Opening: Tuesday, May 12, 201510:00 AM to 5:30 PM
Days and Hours: Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Tuesday 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM
Friday and Saturday 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM 
Closed: Sundays and Monday, May 25, 2015 (Memorial Day)

DISASTER LOAN OUTREACH CENTER CITY OF BALTIMORE-WEST
Pennsylvania Avenue Branch
1531 W. North Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland 21217

Opening: Tuesday, May 12, 2015,10:00 AM to 5:30 PM
Days and Hours: Monday and Wednesday 12:00 PM  to 8:00 PM
Tuesday and Thursday 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM
Friday 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Saturday 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Closed: Sundays and Monday, May 25, 2015 (Memorial Day)

SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners, and renters. SBA disaster loans can be used to repair or replace the following items damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster: real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, and inventory and business assets. For more information, please visit www.sba.gov.


Maryland Officials Attend the 2015 National Hurricane Conference

SPRING AND SUMMER STORMS, TROPICAL CYCLONES, AND HURRICANES THREATEN OUR STATE EACH YEAR

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (March 31, 2015) – Though we are two months away from the start of the Atlantic hurricane season, now is the time for federal, state, and local government agencies and non-profit and private partners to plan for this season’s storms. Maryland officials recently attended the 2015 National Hurricane Conference in Austin, Texas in order to learn about best practices in hurricane preparedness and apply new techniques to emergency management operations within the State. Each year scientists meet with emergency managers and other officials at this conference to share findings regarding atmospheric conditions that predicate the development of hurricanes and to discuss strategies with emergency managers as to how best to convey risks and preparedness measures to the public.

Hurricanes can produce winds in excess of 155 miles per hour, heavy thunderstorms, and flooding. Many Maryland communities, including those on ocean coastlines, near the Chesapeake Bay, or in mountainous regions are at risk to be negatively affected by these storms. Tidal surge is a dangerous hazard often caused by hurricanes. The National Hurricane Conference puts subject matter experts, weather forecasters, and emergency managers in the same room to discuss this and similar risks and learn how to best protect our State. “MEMA regularly conducts risk assessments to help protect Maryland,” said Executive Director Clay Stamp. “It is my duty to work with Governor Hogan to formulate the State’s response while also coordinating resource support to local emergency managers prior to, during, and after hurricanes.”

Maryland residents and community leaders alike are no strangers to dangerous weather striking. “Ocean City has experienced hurricanes numerous times in the past,” noted Mayor Rick Meehan. “This conference affords us the opportunity to discuss our town’s best practices in hurricane response and learn from the expertise of my colleagues around the country, too. Hurricane preparedness planning continues to be the most effective way to mitigate the impacts of these storms.”

State and local jurisdictions in Maryland regularly partner in hurricane preparedness and response planning. In conjunction with an established planning process, attending conferences such as this one expose area emergency managers to new technologies to alert the public to weather threats and provide information and resources to help Marylanders prepare for, respond to, and recover from hurricanes.

You can find more information on hurricane preparedness at mema.maryland.gov or on your local emergency management agency’s website. Additional information and tips will also be highlighted during Maryland Hurricane Preparedness Week on May 24-30.


MEMA Works with Local and Federal Partners to Secure $2.4 Million in Funding for Mitigation Projects Around Maryland

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (March 25, 2015) – Federal funds made available as a result of Hurricane Sandy will help pay for eight disaster mitigation projects around the state, Maryland Emergency Management Agency Executive Director Clay Stamp announced today. MEMA worked with local officials to prepare grant applications to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which approved the projects in February.

“These projects will help to keep communities resilient by reducing flood risks and ensuring power to critical facilities,” Stamp said. “I would like to thank the property owners, local officials, our federal partners, and Governor Hogan for his leadership in helping to make these worthwhile projects a reality.”

Two of the projects will provide generators for critical infrastructure to remain operational during power outages. Five of the projects will elevate 15 residential properties two feet above base flood level, while the final project will purchase and demolish two residential structures in a flood zone.

FEMA will be providing $1.8 million in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds, covering 75 percent of the $2.4 million total cost of the projects.

​Here is a list of the projects being funded:

  •  BALTIMORE COUNTY
    • A $592,923 project to elevate five residential structures in Essex and Middle River
    • A $86,387 project to purchase and install a permanent generator at the Middle River Volunteer Fire Department
  • CALVERT COUNTY
    • A $931,948 project to elevate seven residential structures​ in North Beach, Lusby, and Broomes Island
  • CARROLL COUNTY
    • A $119,500 project to purchase and install a generator at the Union Bridge Volunteer Fire Company
  • DORCHESTER COUNTY
    • A $62,879 project to elevate a residential structure in Cambridge
  • HARFORD COUNTY
    • A $75,000 project to elevate a residential structure in Aberdeen
  • QUEEN ANNE’S COUNTY
    • A $459,734 project to purchase and demolish two residential structures in Millington
  • WORCESTER COUNTY
    • A $74.500 project to elevate a residential structure in Ocean City

MEMA actively conducts risk reduction planning and participates in FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance programs, which are designed to provide funding and other resources to protect life and property from natural disasters and promote community recovery following incidents.

Additional information on MEMA’s mitigation grant and preparedness programs can be found at http://mema.maryland.gov


March 16 – 20 is Maryland Severe Storms Awareness Week

Maryland Severe Storms Awareness Week begins on Monday, March 16, 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 flooding, damaging winds, tornadoes, hail, and lightning. All of these hazards typically occur in our State every year; however, residents can “be weather prepared” by ensuring that they know how to get a warning, have a plan, and practice safety tips.

“Maryland Severe Storms Awareness Week is an important reminder about the negative effect that hazardous weather can have on Marylanders and their homes,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Oftentimes, the safest action during a strong storm is common sense.”

“Don’t attempt to drive across flooded roadways during or after a storm. Get and stay indoors if you hear thunder or see lightning,” added Clay Stamp, Executive Director of MEMA, the Governor’s emergency management agency. “And if you need to leave the house due to damage or an emergency, make sure to bring your emergency kit and a charged cell phone with you.”

The National Weather Service (NWS) emphasizes that the mid-Atlantic region is at risk for flooding, damaging winds, tornadoes, hail, and lightning storms every year. “Maryland experiences severe storms regularly during the spring,” said NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist Christopher Strong. “Our area is particularly at risk for flooding, and we also see hailstorms and even tornadoes. In fact, Maryland has had over 100 tornadoes in the past ten years.”

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

Residents can also take actions to remain safe by practicing the following tips:

  • 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. Over 98% of lightning casualties are from people outdoors—get indoors or inside your vehicle if possible.

Additional information can be found on the NWS “Weather Ready” website at weather.gov/baltimore/weatherready and the MEMA website at mema.maryland.gov.

Residents can also download the free MARYLAND Prepares mobile app at mema.maryland.gov/Pages/mdprepares.aspx.


Governor Hogan Issues Executive Order Waiving Petroleum Transportation Regulations

Due to the winter weather and cold in Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan has issued an Executive Order for the state to relax certain regulations regarding the transportation and delivery of petroleum.  The order will be in effect for 30 days ensuring that lives and property affected by the severe temperatures and wind in Maryland will be protected from the cold weather.

Click here to see full Executive Order Document


MEMA Publishes 2015-16 Training and Exercise Plan

This past year, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Active Learning and Exercising Branch (AL&E) developed and implemented a new strategy leading to the conduct of regional Training and Exercise Program Workshops.  The process leading up to regional workshops was restructured to allow for collaboration and increased buy-in from all partners involved.  The branch conducted regional and State workshops, which were well-attended by all jurisdictions and state agencies. One of the significant outcomes was the development of a comprehensive Multi-year Training and Exercise Plan (TEP).

 

The TEP is a strategic plan within the Maryland Emergency Preparedness Program. The purpose of the TEP is to provide a roadmap for MEMA to follow in accomplishing the priorities described in this Program and the Maryland Homeland Security Strategy. The TEP  provides training and exercises to the National Capital Region, the Baltimore Urban Area Security Initiative Partners, all six regions of Maryland, each of the twenty-six jurisdictions, all state agencies, and private sector partners, as requested. MEMA also assists with and facilitates training and exercise opportunities with other partners within FEMA Region 3 as well as hosting internal training programs for MEMA staff.

 

For more information, please contact Katrina Vala (katrina.vala@maryland.gov).

 

Click here for the 2015-2016 Multi-Year Training and Exercise Plan.

 


State Mitigation Operations Plan (SMOP)

January 8, 2015

The Maryland Emergency Management Agency is proud the approved final draft of the State Mitigation Operations Plan (SMOP). The SMOP is the core plan of the Mitigation Mission of the Maryland Emergency Preparedness Program (MEPP).  This plan seeks to ensure the ability of the State of Maryland to effectively reduce or eliminate the impacts of all hazards on individuals, property, and the environment in coordination with all necessary State, local, federal, private sector, and voluntary, faith-based, and nongovernmental agencies in order to create a more resilient Maryland.  The SMOP also serves to implement the Maryland State Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP).

If you have questions or comments about the SMOP, please contact Elizabeth Webster (elizabeth.webster@maryland.gov).

Please Click Here for a Copy of the SMOP : State of Maryland Mitigation Operations Plan


Maryland Provides Grant Funding to Communities at Risk for Hazards

The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has recently provided over $5 million in federal grants to local jurisdictions and qualified organizations throughout Maryland that are at risk for impacts of or have been adversely affected by natural disasters. These grants, which originate from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), fund specific projects that have been identified by communities as important to saving lives and protecting property.

 

Through this mitigation grant program, MEMA is working with local jurisdictions to acquire and demolish structures that are not safe from natural hazards, turning the land into protected open space. Maryland and Prince George’s County will be acquiring and demolishing seven properties in Fort Washington that experienced slope failure in March 2014. MEMA will also be working with Allegany County to acquire a six-property mobile home camp in Frostburg and with Calvert County on a single structure in Broomes Island. Property owners who experienced a loss will be reimbursed using these funds.

 

Some natural disasters, such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012, have had both widespread impacts throughout the State of Maryland and localized, direct effects on many communities. “Government agencies and voluntary organizations are proficient at disaster response and recovery,” said MEMA Executive Director Ken Mallette, “but another piece of our responsibility to the residents of Maryland is to consistently prepare for and mitigate against future emergencies. These projects will help accomplish that.”

 

In addition, these mitigation grants will fund emergency alert and warning projects, such as an update to the existing flood warning system in Howard County, the purchase and installation of a two-way emergency alert system for Frederick County facilities, and a variable message sign for Garrett County. Other projects include purchasing and installing emergency power generators for critical facilities, such as the University of Maryland’s Charles County Medical Center, which will be installing three emergency generators to ensure that electricity is available to the hospital if commercial power fails.

 

MEMA actively conducts risk reduction planning and participates in FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance programs, which are designed to provide funding and other resources to protect life and property from natural disasters and promote community recovery following incidents.


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