Skip to Main Content

Maryland Emergency Management Agency


“Great ShakeOut” Earthquake Drill to Occur Tomorrow (10/20)

“Great ShakeOut” Earthquake Drill to Occur Tomorrow (10/20)

All Marylanders Encouraged to Participate and Practice Earthquake Preparedness

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (October 19, 2016) — Earthquakes can and do happen in Maryland which is why the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is asking residents to register and take part in the Great SouthEast ShakeOut tomorrow. By participating in this nationwide drill, participants will learn proper earthquake preparedness and safety techniques. Held every year in October, the ShakeOut is set for Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 10:20 a.m.

Many people on the east coast of the United States may not be used to earthquakes and may not know the appropriate safety protocols.  In 2011, a 5.8 magnitude earthquake that occurred in Virginia was felt in areas of Maryland and some residents were not aware of what actions to take. A 2.2 magnitude earthquake also occurred at night in Anne Arundel County, Md. last year.

“Earthquakes may occur less frequently than other hazards in Maryland, however they do and have happened in our area,” said Russ Strickland, executive director of MEMA. “Preparing for this no-notice event is as important as practicing fire, severe weather, or other monthly or annual drills.”

The ShakeOut drill is free and open to the public. Individuals, families, schools, businesses, government agencies, and many other groups can all participate in tomorrow’s drill.  Those wanting to participate are asked to register by visiting www.shakeout.org. Thousands of Maryland residents have already registered for the 2016 drill.

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 table or desk, and
  • Hold On to it as if a major earthquake were happening.

For more information about emergency preparedness, please visit our website at mema.maryland.gov, Twitter feed @mdmema, Facebook page and Instagram.

NOTE TO MEDIA: For information about Maryland participants in the drill, please visit www.shakeout.org/southeast and click on the Maryland icon on the map. Please contact participating organizations directly if you want to do a story about their participation. The Maryland Center for School Safety, Maryland State Fire Marshal, Maryland State Department of Education, and MEMA are coordinating efforts for the Great SouthEast ShakeOut.

 


Maryland to Participate in a National Test of the Emergency Alert System Today

Minute-long Television and Radio Message to Occur September 28 at 2:20 P.M. (Eastern)

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (September 28, 2016) — Maryland will be participating in a national test of the Emergency Alert System today at 2:20 P.M. (Eastern). The messaging and style of the test will be similar to the regular monthly test message of the EAS, but, is being conducted in order to test and assess the readiness for distribution of a national-level message. Residents can expect to hear and see the following on radio and television stations this afternoon: “This is a national test of the Emergency Alert System. This is only a test.”

This test is being conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). According to FEMA, “the test is intended to ensure public safety officials have the methods and systems that will deliver urgent alerts and warnings to the public in times of an emergency or disaster. Periodic testing of public alert and warning systems is also a way to assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure required for the distribution of a national message and determine what technological improvements need to be addressed.”

More information on the Public Alert and Warning System and Wireless Emergency Alerts is available at www.fema.gov/ipaws or www.ready.gov/alerts.


MEMA Announces $286,145 in Grants to Improve Hazardous Material Emergency Preparedness

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (September 26, 2016) — The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has announced that $286,145 in federal grants have been awarded to state and local government agencies in Maryland in order to improve hazardous material emergency preparedness and response. The grants are funded through the United States Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

“MEMA continuously seeks opportunities to improve emergency preparedness for all hazards in order to protect Marylanders,” said MEMA Executive Director Russell Strickland. “These funds will boost the capabilities of hazardous material response organizations throughout the State.”

Hazardous Material Emergency Preparedness grants are awarded annually in order to ensure the safe transport of hazardous material and to train personnel with hazardous material response roles.


Governor Larry Hogan’s Request for Presidential Disaster Declaration for Ellicott City, Howard County Approved

Governor Larry Hogan’s Request for Presidential Disaster Declaration for Ellicott City, Howard County Approved
Maryland Now Eligible for Federal Assistance Following Historic Flooding

ANNAPOLIS, MD (September 16, 2016) – Governor Larry Hogan’s request for a major disaster declaration in the wake of historic flooding in Ellicott City was approved today. Maryland and Howard County will now be eligible for federal assistance to help pay costs associated with the response to and recovery from the July 30 flooding event that damaged much of Main Street in Ellicott City as well as surrounding areas. Governor Hogan requested the assistance in a letter to President Barack Obama on August 12. By granting the declaration, federal assistance will be made available for expenses related to infrastructure repair and replacement, hazard mitigation projects, debris removal, and other costs associated with the storm.

“When this devastating storm hit, we assured residents and leaders in Howard County that our administration would pursue all avenues of support to help our communities rebuild,” said Governor Hogan. “I would like to thank Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman for his leadership and extend my sincerest gratitude to Senator Barbara Mikulski, Senator Ben Cardin, Congressman Elijah Cummings, and the entire Maryland delegation for working diligently at the federal level to secure this vital assistance for businesses, citizens, and public infrastructure damaged by this historic flooding. I am amazed by the resilience of Ellicott City and the surrounding communities and look forward to Main Street again being the focal point of local activity.”

“This is welcome news for the people of Ellicott City,” said Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “This declaration will help us coordinate and take advantage of the many federal resources available to us. These resources will help us implement long-term flood mitigation projects to rebuild Ellicott City to become a model resilient community. I am thankful to Governor Hogan and our federal delegation for their continued support throughout this process.”

The decision for a disaster declaration comes after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), and Howard County emergency operations staff conducted damage assessments last month. The flooding, which occurred on a Saturday night, damaged or destroyed dozens of buildings and more than 200 vehicles, and caused the deaths of two individuals. Main Street and the adjacent sidewalks, plus underground infrastructure, also sustained significant damage. Governor Hogan has designated MEMA as the state coordinating agency for the declaration.

“I want to thank my staff at MEMA and those in Howard County who worked closely with FEMA to assess damages and costs caused by the flooding,” said MEMA Executive Director Russell Strickland. “We will continue to work together to apply this federal assistance to repair damaged infrastructure and aid Howard County and Ellicott City in recovery efforts.”

The presidential disaster declaration comes on the heels of several state, local, and federal initiatives designed to assist local residents and business owners.


MEMA Hosts Emergency Preparedness Exercise with Maryland Businesses

MEMA Hosts Emergency Preparedness Exercise with Maryland Businesses

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (September 15, 2016) — The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) hosted an exercise for Maryland businesses today that was attended by nearly 100 members of the private sector and partners in emergency management. During the course of the exercise, attendees proceeded through an emergency scenario and discussed methods to increase coordination. An objective of the exercise was to augment business resilience by identifying ways that Maryland government can support businesses during disasters.

“Including Maryland businesses in our emergency management system is a good way to improve disaster response and recovery,” said Russ Strickland, executive director of MEMA. “MEMA is focused on building resilient communities throughout the State by supporting the private sector before, during, and after emergencies.”

MEMA regularly provides businesses with disaster preparedness tools throughout the year and sends businesses incident-specific information to aid them in operational decision-making during emergencies.

The exercise is an extension of MEMA’s Private Sector Integration Program, a collaborative effort between Maryland government and businesses that focuses on increasing business resiliency. There are currently over 250 members.


Maryland Takes Proactive Measures, Braces for Hermine Today

Maryland Takes Proactive Measures, Braces for Hermine Today

Southern Maryland, Eastern Shore to have Significant Rainfall, Winds, and Coastal Flooding

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (September 3, 2016) — Post-tropical Cyclone Hermine will be located off the Atlantic coast of Maryland later today and will likely bring high rain totals, tropical storm-force winds and coastal flooding to southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore.

“I urge Maryland residents and visitors to our Eastern Shore to closely monitor weather forecasts,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Though some uncertainty remains, it is becoming clear that Hermine will affect Maryland with significant rainfall and flooding along the coast. I have reached out to Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan and agree with his assessment—anyone planning to travel to the beach this weekend that has not already departed should stay home until this storm has passed. I encourage all Marylanders, especially those on the Lower Shore, to use common sense and stay safe during this time.”

Yesterday, Governor Hogan signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency in Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, Worcester, Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s Counties. The executive order allows the state to efficiently coordinate support and provide additional assistance to those counties.

Those in potentially affected areas should be familiar with evacuation routes, have a communications plan with family members, keep a battery-powered radio handy and have a plan for pets. If flooding occurs, residents should never drive through flooded roadways. Anyone with plans to travel to the Shore should first check local officials’ recommendations and closely follow weather forecasts and warnings.

Find out more information about hurricane and storm preparedness on our website mema.maryland.gov or follow our Twitter feed @MDMEMAFacebook page and Instagram account, or by viewing our hurricane preparedness whiteboard video.


What does a “State of Emergency” mean?

What does a “State of Emergency” mean?

In preparation for the upcoming Tropical Storm Hermine, Governor Larry Hogan has asked State agencies to launch a coordinated effort to keep Marylanders safe and informed in the upcoming days. Governor Hogan has signed an Executive Order declaring a state of emergency in Maryland beginning Friday, September 2 in anticipation of heavy rains, strong winds, and potential flooding associated with Tropical Storm Hermine. The Executive Order will allow the state to efficiently coordinate support and provide additional assistance to those counties.

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 has been 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 rainfall and that motorists should avoid non-essential travel. Here is additional information about this state of emergency:

Will stores and businesses be open?

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

Can I drive on the roads?

There are no driving restrictions at this time, but, a state of emergency means that residents should be aware that driving could be hazardous and need to pay attention to the forecast and current conditions.


Governor Larry Hogan Signs Executive Order Declaring State of Emergency for Eastern Shore, Southern Maryland

Governor Larry Hogan Signs Executive Order Declaring State of Emergency for Eastern Shore, Southern Maryland

Order Issued in Anticipation of Tropical Storm Hermine for Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, Worcester, Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s Counties

See signed State of Emergency declaration here.

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today signed an Executive Order declaring a state of emergency in Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, Worcester, Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s Counties beginning Friday, September 2 in anticipation of heavy rains, strong winds, and potential flooding associated with Tropical Storm Hermine. The Executive Order will allow the state to efficiently coordinate support and provide additional assistance to those counties.

“While the path of Tropical Storm Hermine remains uncertain, this state of emergency will ensure that resources and support are readily available if flooding and other damage does occur,” said Governor Hogan. “I strongly encourage Marylanders to pay close attention to this storm system and, if appropriate, to start preparing for potential flooding or any other possible hazards.”

The Hogan administration has directed state agencies to stand ready to respond to the effects of this storm, including the Maryland Emergency Management Agency. Rain, wind, and localized flooding may continue throughout the weekend and into early next week.

For more information, residents can also go to MEMA’s website at mema.maryland.gov, follow MEMA’s Twitter feed at @MDMEMA, or follow MEMA’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MDMEMA.


Tropical Storm Hermine Likely to Bring Rain and Wind to Maryland This Weekend

Tropical Storm Hermine Likely to Bring Rain and Wind to Maryland This Weekend

MEMA is Monitoring the Storm and Making Preparations

Listen to audio of this release here.

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (September 2, 2016) — Tropical Storm Hermine could bring significant rainfall and wind to portions of Maryland beginning Saturday morning, making for a potentially hazardous Labor Day weekend. The Storm, which is currently located over Florida, is moving north-northeast and is forecast to be located off the Eastern Shore of Maryland by Saturday. Rain, wind and localized flooding may continue throughout the weekend and into early next week.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued tropical storm warnings for St. Mary’s, Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester Counties. In addition to tropical storm force rain and wind, these areas could experience tidal and coastal flooding.

“Marylanders need to monitor trusted weather sources, such as the NWS weather forecast offices and local news stations, in order to stay updated on this tropical system and associated rain,” said Russ Strickland, executive director of MEMA. “Residents and visitors to the Eastern Shore should pay extra attention—tropical storm tracks can change quickly and unexpectedly.”

Those in potentially affected areas should be familiar with evacuation routes, have a communications plan, keep a battery-powered radio handy and have a plan for pets.

Find out more information about hurricane and storm preparedness on our website mema.maryland.gov or follow our Twitter feed @MDMEMAFacebook page and Instagram account, or by viewing our hurricane preparedness whiteboard video.


MEMA Reminds Marylanders that September is Time to Prepare for Severe Weather and Other Emergencies

MEMA Reminds Marylanders that September is Time to Prepare for Severe Weather and Other Emergencies

Tropical Storm Hermine, Other Weather Currently Being Monitored

Listen to audio of press release here.

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (September 1, 2016) — The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) reminds Marylanders that September is a good time to review preparedness information for severe weather and other emergencies throughout the year. September is both National Preparedness and Maryland Preparedness Month and government agencies, businesses, community groups, schools and families will be participating in events to help promote disaster preparedness.

“The flooding in Ellicott City in late July should be a reminder to all of us that disasters can strike anytime,” said Russ Strickland, Executive Director of MEMA. “And with three storms and depressions swirling around this week, we need to remember that this is the most likely time of the year for a hurricane to hit our area. Don’t wait until a disaster is on your doorstep to start preparing.”

Marylanders should pay particular attention to recently-formed Tropical Storm Hermine in the Gulf of Mexico. Forecasters predict this storm could affect parts of Maryland over the Labor Day weekend. MEMA urges residents to follow trusted weather sources in the coming days as there is still uncertainty over the exact path of the storm.

Making preparations when threats are not imminent can make communities more resilient. Hazards common to Maryland include flooding, high wind, severe thunderstorms and winter storms. Several online sources provide good emergency preparedness information for these and additional threats:

To find a list of Preparedness Month events around Maryland, please visit our web site. We also will be announcing events throughout September on our Twitter feed @MDMEMA, Facebook page and Instagram.


Subscribe to MEMA

News Archives

PW-WEB01