Skip to Main Content

Maryland Emergency Management Agency

Maryland Officials Attend the 2015 National Hurricane Conference


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 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:

    • 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
    • A $931,948 project to elevate seven residential structures​ in North Beach, Lusby, and Broomes Island
    • A $119,500 project to purchase and install a generator at the Union Bridge Volunteer Fire Company
    • A $62,879 project to elevate a residential structure in Cambridge
    • A $75,000 project to elevate a residential structure in Aberdeen
    • A $459,734 project to purchase and demolish two residential structures in Millington
    • 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

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 and the MEMA website at

Residents can also download the free MARYLAND Prepares mobile app at

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 (


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 (

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.

Participate in the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Preparedness Drill on 10/16 at 10:16 a.m.

When an earthquake hit the mid-Atlantic region on August 23, 2011, many people didn’t know how to react. Instead of crouching under a desk or sturdy table, many people evacuated their homes or workplaces, unaware of the potential injury from falling debris. While this earthquake was not strong enough to cause significant damage to the outside of most buildings in Maryland, an even slightly stronger tremor could have caused bricks and other exterior materials to become dangerous projectiles.

To help educate residents about safe earthquake procedures, Maryland and other states participate in the Great SouthEast ShakeOut. Held annually on the third Thursday of October, the ShakeOut is set for this Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 10:16 a.m.

During the self-led drill, participants practice how to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On.” Endorsed by emergency officials and first responders, the safe response to an earthquake is to:

- DROP to the ground
- Take COVER under a sturdy table or desk if possible, protecting your head and neck
- HOLD ON until the shaking stops

“Thankfully, we don’t have much experience with strong earthquakes in Maryland,” said Ken Mallette, Executive Director of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency. “But we need to make sure we know what to when a strong earthquake does hit our area.”

The ShakeOut is free and open to the public, and participants include individuals, schools, businesses, local and state government agencies, and many other groups. Individuals and organizations can participate by practicing the drill on October 16 and posting pictures to social media using #MDShakeOut. You can find out more and register to participate in the drill by visiting and by following MEMA on Twitter and Facebook. The MARYLAND Prepares mobile app, which is available for free on both Android and Apple devices, has additional earthquake preparedness information. Downloading the app also provides users with emergency alerts, including natural hazards such as earthquakes.

To date, more than 115,000 people are registered to participate in Maryland, and Great ShakeOut earthquake drills will occur nationwide. More than 15 million people are expected to participate in the United States and in addition to safety drills, many participants take extra steps to become more prepared for earthquakes or other disasters.


September is National Preparedness Month

Today is the start of National Preparedness Month. Throughout September, government agencies, business, community groups, schools, and families will be participating in events to help promote disaster preparedness and community resilience. These events across the state, many of which are open to the public, will be posted by the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) on our social media feeds and website. You can follow us @MDMEMA, on Facebook, and at our website


Did you know September is right in the middle of hurricane season? Now is a great time to check and see if you and your family are prepared for emergencies. The four building blocks of preparedness are: Be informed, Make a plan, Build a kit, and Get Involved. Discover disaster-specific information on our website, so you can be informed, make a plan for you and your family, build a kit for emergencies, and learn about ways to get involved. There is an interactive planning tool in the MARYLAND Prepares mobile app, which is available to download for free on both Android and Apple platforms. It is easy to complete, will be in your pocket at all times, and also includes real-time alerts for emergencies, weather, and traffic. 


Here’s another way to get involved: join us for our first town hall-style Twitter chat. On September 15 at 12:00pm EDT, we will be chatting live with our followers and friends on Twitter using the hashtag #MDPrepares. Feel free to add to the discussion or ask us your emergency preparedness questions.


We’ve seen the impact that major disasters, such as Hurricane Sandy, can have on our state and country. Our preparedness efforts can help reduce the impact of these disasters, so remember, “Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare!” and by Marylanders becoming better prepared, you can help make Maryland resilient.

State Response Operations Plan (SROP)

The Maryland Emergency Management Agency is proud to present to you the approved second edition of the State Response Operations Plan (SROP), published to the public on July 22, 2014. The SROP is the core plan of the Response Mission of the Maryland Emergency Preparedness Program (MEPP). Its purpose is to describe the roles and responsibilities of Maryland entities during incident response and to define those actions to save lives, protect public health and safety, and protect property and the environment within the State of Maryland. 

If you have any comments or questions, please contact Nicole Lanigan, (

Please click on link for a copy of the SROP: State of Maryland Response Operations Plan 2nd Edition(1)



Subscribe to MEMA

News Archives