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Maryland Emergency Management Agency


Governor Larry Hogan Requests Presidential Disaster Declaration for Baltimore and Howard Counties, City of Baltimore Following Flooding

Federal Disaster Declaration Granted for Frederick and Washington Counties Impacted by Earlier Flooding

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (June 25, 2018)—Governor Larry Hogan has requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration for the State of Maryland as a result of the severe storm and flooding that affected Baltimore County, Howard County, and Baltimore City on the evening of May 27. This follows the governor’s request last week for a disaster declaration for Frederick and Washington Counties due to flooding in mid-May. That request has been granted, and a major disaster was declared today for Frederick and Washington Counties.

“It was heartbreaking to witness a second flood in less than two years devastate Ellicott City. This time, areas of Baltimore County and Baltimore City had significant damage as well,” said Governor Hogan. “Our administration is committed to providing all available assistance to these communities, and the federal disaster declaration that I am requesting will bring additional resources to help impacted Marylanders.”

This request comes after the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) conducted damage assessments with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and local officials.

“MEMA and FEMA worked closely with our local partners in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Howard County to jointly assess damages and costs incurred,” said MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland. “This storm had a significant impact on the entire area and our estimates confirm this.”

If the federal government issues a Major Disaster Declaration, it will allow for federal assistance to be made available through the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.


Governor Larry Hogan Requests Presidential Disaster Declaration for Frederick, Washington Counties Following May Flooding

Governor Larry Hogan Requests Presidential Disaster Declaration for Frederick, Washington Counties Following May Flooding

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan has requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration for the State of Maryland as a result of the heavy rainfall and flooding that affected Frederick and Washington counties from May 15-19. This was the first of two major flooding events that occurred in May 2018. Officials continue to collect and validate damages from the second incident, which primarily affected Howard and Baltimore Counties and Baltimore City.

“The flooding in Frederick County and Washington County severely impacted residents, businesses, and infrastructure in the area. I have requested a disaster declaration in order to facilitate federal assistance to the counties that were affected by the storm in mid-May,” said Governor Hogan. “This was not the only recent severe storm—I have also directed MEMA to assess damages and work with the jurisdictions affected by flooding over Memorial Day weekend to seek federal assistance.”

This request comes after MEMA conducted damage assessments with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and officials from Washington and Frederick counties.

“MEMA and FEMA worked closely with our partners in the affected jurisdictions and we jointly assessed the damages and costs incurred,” said MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland. “Our initial estimates have validated the devastating impact of the heavy rainfall, severe storms, and flooding.”

If the federal government issues a Major Disaster Declaration, it would allow for federal assistance to be made available through the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.

Earlier today, Governor Hogan announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved his request for a physical disaster declaration for Frederick County following flooding that occurred in mid-May. This declaration will allow affected businesses, homeowners, and renters to apply for low-interest loans to repair damages. People who live in adjacent counties, including Carroll, Howard, Montgomery, and Washington counties are also eligible to apply.


Governor Larry Hogan’s Request for a Small Business Administration Physical Disaster Declaration Approved

SBA Low-interest Loans Available to Qualifying Homeowners, Renters, and Businesses Affected by Flooding in Mid-May

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (June 15, 2018) — Governor Larry Hogan has announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved his request for a physical disaster declaration for Frederick County following flooding that began on May 15 and lasted for days. This declaration will allow affected businesses, homeowners, and renters to apply for low-interest loans to repair damages. People who live in adjacent counties, including Carroll, Howard, Montgomery, and Washington counties are also eligible to apply.

“Many businesses, homeowners, and residents were profoundly affected by the flooding that occurred in May,” said Governor Hogan. “The loans offered by the SBA are one important component of the rebuilding process. In addition, we are also seeking additional federal assistance through FEMA for which I have submitted a request for a major disaster declaration.”

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

Officials have announced the location and hours for disaster loan outreach centers where residents can go to apply for assistance. SBA staff at these centers will help residents apply for low-interest loans to repair damaged homes and businesses. Centers will be open in Frederick and Washington counties.

  • Frederick County will open a center on Monday, June 25 through Saturday, June 30. Hours will be Monday-Friday 9:00am-6:00pm, and Saturday, June 30, 10:00am-2:00pm. The location is: Public Safety Training Facility, 5370 Public Safety Place, Frederick, MD 21704.
  • Washington County will open a center on Tuesday, June 19 through Tuesday, June 26 from 9:00am-6:00pm and Saturday, June 23 from 10:00am-2:00pm. The center will be close on Sunday. The location is: Sharpsburg Fire Department, 110 W Chapline St, Sharpsburg, MD 21782.

SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit 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 Launches “Know Your Zone” Hurricane Preparedness Campaign

Program Designed to Ease Evacuation in Areas Subject to Tidal Floods, Surge

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (June 14, 2018) — With the record-setting 2017 hurricane season still fresh in most American’s minds, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), in conjunction with local emergency managers, is rolling out a new hurricane and severe weather evacuation system as a result of the Maryland hurricane evacuation study which concluded earlier this year.  The study identified 3 large areas in Maryland subject to tidal flooding. Know Your Zone aims to bring awareness of the evacuation zones to the forefront of Marylanders’ summer plans and make evacuation notices easier to disseminate.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently released its forecast for the upcoming season and predicted near- to above-normal activity.  However, it only takes one storm hitting the mid-Atlantic area to seriously affect Maryland.

“As experts are forecasting an active Hurricane season this year, I strongly encourage all Marylanders to be proactive, prepared, and to Know Your Zone,” said Governor Hogan. “We are all too familiar with the devastating impacts of severe weather and flooding, so remain vigilant, spread the word to your friends, family, neighbors and let them know about the importance of this potentially life-saving initiative.”

The Know Your Zone Logo. A Hurricane Icon with the Maryland State Flag image in it. Text reads "Know Your Zone It's as easy as A-B-C"

Residents of and visitors to Maryland are encouraged to visit the new interactive Know Your Zone web page, www.KnowYourZoneMd.com, where they can learn more about the project. On that page, you can type in an address and quickly find out what zone, if any, the property is located in.

The first year of the program will encourage Maryland residents to know the evacuation zone of their residence, business or vacation site. The zones are designated by letters A, B and C.

Zone A areas are the most likely to be impacted by severe flooding in the event of a major storm or hurricane. In future years, the program will focus on refining evacuation routes away from the affected areas. “Proper and timely messaging for evacuations saves lives,” said MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland. “This new system is designed to make it easier for local emergency managers to evacuate areas by encouraging Marylanders to Know Your Zone before a storm hits.”

The three evacuation zones only affect areas subject to tidal flooding or storm surge – communities at or near the Atlantic Ocean, the Coastal Bays, and the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. That covers 16 Maryland counties along with Annapolis, Baltimore City and Ocean City.

“Hurricane Sandy in 2012 was a wake-up call for the mid-Atlantic region; it could have been Maryland,” said Strickland. “Working with local and federal partners, and using technology that until recently was not available, we studied updated flooding and surge patterns caused by more powerful storms to develop these new evacuation plans.”

If local officials feel an evacuation is needed to protect lives, they will issue the order by zones instead of having to define specific geographic areas. This program is similar to one rolled out last year in neighboring Virginia.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June to November. Hurricanes can cause strong winds, heavy rain, inland flooding and other severe weather, but residents in Maryland can be prepared by ensuring they know how to receive a warning, have a plan, practice safety tips and know their evacuation zone.

It is important to remember Maryland can see hurricanes and impacts from a storm hundreds of miles away. Hurricanes can produce 150-plus miles per hour winds, tornadoes and tremendous flooding from both tidal surges as well as torrential rain

Residents can also take the following actions to remain safe:

  • Build an emergency supply kit and develop a family emergency and communications plan.
  • Stay tuned to trusted sources such as the National Weather Service and local broadcasters for official weather information.
  • Follow instructions and advice given by emergency officials, especially instructions related to evacuation.
  • During severe weather, stay indoors away from windows, close all interior doors, and brace external doors. If you live near the shore or coast, expect the storm tide will inundate your home.
  • Monitor NWS flood warnings for your area and be prepared to seek higher ground. Flooding is often our biggest threat.
  • Fill a bathtub or other large container with water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets.
  • Charge electronic devices before bad weather hits and consider keeping a charger in your car.

Additional preparedness information can be found on MEMA’s website at mema.maryland.gov. Residents can download the free MARYLAND Prepares mobile app. They can also follow MEMA on Twitter or on Facebook.


Maryland to Conduct Damage Assessments with FEMA in Areas Impacted by Flooding

Howard, Baltimore Counties, Baltimore City to Work Jointly with MEMA

 REISTERSTOWN, Md. (May 30, 2018) — MEMA and FEMA will conduct joint preliminary damage assessments with Howard County, Baltimore County, and Baltimore City beginning tomorrow, May 31, 2018, following the heavy rainfall, severe storms, and flooding that occurred this past weekend.

The joint preliminary damage assessments do not guarantee financial assistance, but, they are a key component of the recovery process.

“Our administration is committed to helping those impacted by the recent devastating floods recover as quickly as possible,” said Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. “I have directed the Maryland Emergency Management Agency to work closely with regional representatives from FEMA to seek all available assistance to support our public safety partners and our citizens who were affected as they work to rebuild.”

Federal assistance could potentially be made available through the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.

Yesterday, Maryland announced that state agencies are actively supporting the Howard County Disaster Assistance Center to provide support to affected residents, especially those in and around Ellicott City. Additionally, beginning today, the Maryland Insurance Agency and the Maryland Department of Human Services are supporting an assistance open house being held by the City of Baltimore. Both the Howard County Disaster Assistance Center and Baltimore City’s Open House will help provide a one-stop resource center so affected residents and businesses can access local and state resources as they continue recovering from the floods. The Maryland Emergency Management Agency is coordinating state support.

“Maryland has experienced multiple, recent flood emergencies throughout our state,” said MEMA executive director Russ Strickland. “Earlier in May, Frederick and Washington counties were severely flooded. Ellicott City in Howard County and areas of Baltimore County and the City of Baltimore had devastating flooding this past weekend. We will work with all our stakeholders within the Maryland Emergency Management System and our partners in the Federal Government to identify, coordinate, and provide support to those affected.”

Our social media specialists will be monitoring the situation and will also be posting updated information as it becomes available. You can follow MEMA on Twitter @MDMEMA or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MDMEMA.


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.


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