Skip to Main Content

Maryland Emergency Management Agency

What does a “State of Emergency” mean?

What does a “State of Emergency” mean?

In anticipation of heavy snowfall, winds, and freezing temperatures, potential power outages, hazardous travel conditions, and potentially impassable roadways, Governor Larry Hogan has declared a State of Emergency for Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties beginning Wednesday, January 3, 2018. This executive order will allow the state to efficiently coordinate support and provide additional assistance to those communities.

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.

MEMA Monitoring Winter Storm and Arctic Front Starting Tonight, Eastern Shore Bracing for Heaviest Snowfall

Residents Should Be Aware and Take Appropriate Actions to Stay Safe

Click here to listen to audio of this release.

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (January 3, 2018) — A winter storm will move up the East Coast Wednesday night, bringing accumulating snow to parts of Maryland, with wind gusts and frigid temperatures across the State. The National Weather Service has issued either Winter Storm or Blizzard Warnings for the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Winter Weather Advisories for much of central and southern Maryland, and the national capital region.

These areas could see significant snowfall, which will begin late tonight on the lower Eastern Shore and spread northward overnight. The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) advises all residents in and around these areas to follow weather forecasts as they are updated. In addition to snow, the majority of the State will have frigid temperatures.

“As we prepare for this winter weather I urge all Marylanders to use common sense and take all necessary precautions,” said Governor Hogan. “Our state agencies and employees are working very hard to keep our roads passable, but the freezing temperatures we are experiencing could create extremely dangerous conditions. Put safety first by staying off the roads whenever possible, following your local weather forecasts, and heeding all warnings.”

MEMA is closely monitoring the storm and is coordinating preparedness and response efforts with local emergency management officials and state agencies. Residents in different areas of Maryland may feel different effects from this weather system. It is possible that light snow could fall in the Baltimore-Washington corridor early tomorrow and affect the Thursday morning commute.

MEMA Executive Director Russell Strickland said, “Marylanders on the Eastern Shore and in southern Maryland should stay off the roads during the storm. Commuters and travelers should pay close attention to morning traffic and weather reports and plan accordingly.”

Additionally, Maryland residents should consider taking the following actions:

  • Closely monitor updated weather forecasts and keep electronic communications devices charged.
  • 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, and blankets and drinks in case you become stranded. Let friends or family know of your travel route and expected arrival time.
  • Never run generators indoors, in closed areas, or near vents.
  • Know who to contact in the case of a power outage. Emergency phone numbers for utility companies can be found here.

Traffic, weather, and power outage alerts, as well as winter preparedness information, can be accessed on MEMA’s website. You can also follow MEMA on Twitter and Facebook for updated information.

Maryland Emergency Management Agency Monitoring After Earthquake Near Delaware Coast

Listen to this release here.

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (November 30, 2017) — In the wake of the earthquake that hit off the coast of Delaware this afternoon, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency is monitoring for any reports of damage.

The quake, which the United States Geological Survey currently lists as a 4.1 magnitude, hit just before 4:50 p.m. off the Delaware coast, about 6 miles east/northeast of Dover. Reports say it was felt as far east as the I-95 corridor in central Maryland.

The United States Geological Survey asks anyone who may have felt the quake to report it on their website.

While earthquakes are not common in this region, they do happen. In August of 2011, most of Maryland felt a magnitude 5.8 earthquake that was centered near Mineral, Va.

For more information about earthquakes in Maryland, please visit:

For more general information about earthquake preparedness, visit:

“Great ShakeOut” Earthquake Drill to Occur Tomorrow (10/19)

“Great ShakeOut” Earthquake Drill to Occur Tomorrow (10/19)

All Marylanders Encouraged to Participate and Practice Earthquake Preparedness

Click here to listen to audio of this release.

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (October 18, 2017) — The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is asking residents to register and take part in the Great Southeast ShakeOut earthquake drill tomorrow. Participants will learn proper earthquake preparedness and safety techniques while participating in this nationwide exercise. This year’s ShakeOut is set for Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 10:19 a.m.

“While Maryland experiences earthquakes less often than other hazards, the fact is that they can and do occur in our State,” said Russ Strickland, executive director of MEMA. “Residents should drill for these no-notice events just like they practice fire, severe weather, and other regular 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 Thousands of Maryland residents have already registered for the 2017 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.

For more information about emergency preparedness, please visit our website at mema.maryland.govTwitter feed and Facebook page.

NOTE TO MEDIA: For information about Maryland participants in the drill, please visit and click on the Maryland icon on the map. Please contact participating organizations directly if you want to do a story about their participation.

Governor Larry Hogan Directs National Guard to Assist Puerto Rico Following Hurricane Maria

Governor Larry Hogan Directs National Guard to Assist Puerto Rico Following Hurricane Maria

Maryland National Guard’s 29th Combat Aviation Brigade to Assist with Water Purification Efforts

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today announced that he has directed the Maryland National Guard to send resources requested by Puerto Rico to assist in response and relief efforts following Hurricane Maria. The governor’s directive follows conversations with the Governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rossello, and other communications between staff-level officials. The governor has authorized the deployment of a 26-member detachment of the Maryland National Guard’s 29th Combat Aviation Brigade, which will deploy for potentially 60 days to conduct water purification with two tactical systems that can each purify 1,200 gallons of water per hour. Fresh water has been in critically short supply in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria made landfall on September 20th.  Putting their equipment to use, the National Guard members will be assigned with converting hazardous water into water that is safe for drinking, cooking, and hygiene.

“During my conversation with Governor Rossello, I offered the full support of the State of Maryland to Puerto Rico and all areas devastated by these recent storms,” said Governor Hogan. “Maryland is fortunate to have been spared the worst effects of this hurricane season so far, and we stand ready to respond to those in desperate need of resources.”

The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) leads the state’s coordination of resource support through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, which allows for states and territories to share resources during and after disasters.

“The emergency management system in Maryland is filled with local, state, private, and non-governmental partners dedicated to ensuring the safety and resiliency of Maryland citizens. They also stand ready to support our sister states and territories in times of need,” said Executive Director Russell Strickland. “MEMA will continue to coordinate requests for assistance in response to and recovery from disasters.”

Maryland currently has a mission deployed to Florida supporting response and recovery operations. Twenty-two members of the Maryland Incident Management Team (IMT) have been managing four separate base camps in Florida that house and feed responding personnel. The assisting IMT members are from Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, and Washington Counties, the City of Baltimore, and the Town of Ocean City.

Maryland has recently completed five support missions in Texas and Florida following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, respectively. These include:

  • The Maryland Department of Human Services sent staff to support disaster sheltering in the Houston, Texas area. The human service workers provided shelter set up, logistical support, and additional disaster services.
  • Howard County Recreation and Parks sent a debris clearing and removal team to Southern Florida in order to assist the opening of roadways.
  • The Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems and MEMA coordinated the deployment of a critical incident stress management (CISM) team. The CISM team, who are from the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service and Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services, supported shelter workers and first responders in southwest Florida and the Florida Keys.
  • The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) supported the Florida Department of Emergency Management’s energy infrastructure fuels support team. MEA organized fuel delivery to gas stations, fueling depots, emergency generators, and critical infrastructure.
  • The Howard County Office of Emergency Management conducted volunteer and donations management assistance in the Florida State Emergency Operations Center.

How can I assist with hurricane relief and recovery efforts?

How can I assist with hurricane relief and recovery efforts?

Many of us have witnessed the devastating effects that hurricanes have caused to fellow Americans this hurricane season. Many organizations and individuals are generously offering to support affected areas, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, by donating their time, money, and supplies. The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) continues to work with our sister emergency management agencies in the affected areas and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assess and coordinate requested resources. Federal, state, local officials and numerous non-profit, private sector, faith-based, and volunteer organizations are currently lending a hand in this effort. The following outlines the ways that you can assist, too.

Donate through a trusted organization

According to FEMA, one of the best ways to assist is to donate to the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD). The NVOAD website has information on non-profit organizations accepting or registering individual in-kind donations: You may also make financial donations to a National VOAD member organization to help voluntary or charitable organizations continue to provide services to Hurricane Maria survivors: To make a cash donation directly to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, visit

Volunteer in response to Hurricane Maria through an established organization

Anyone seeking an opportunity to get involved in response and recovery operations is encouraged to volunteer with local and nationally known organizations. A list of volunteer websites is available at

According to FEMA, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands ask that volunteers not self-deploy, as unexpected arrival in affected communities creates additional burden for first responders. Those who wish to register to volunteer to support response efforts for Hurricane Maria can go to the following websites:

Maryland agencies and local jurisdictions throughout the State continue to assist areas affected by recent hurricanes. MEMA leads the State’s coordination of resource support and is actively continuing to work with affected areas to find ways to support them. Thank you for your interest in becoming part of this effort!

Maryland Agencies Stand Ready to Support States Affected by Hurricane Irma

Maryland Agencies Stand Ready to Support States Affected by Hurricane Irma
Urge Marylanders to Prepare for Potential Impact

ANNAPOLIS, MD  Governor Larry Hogan today announced Maryland’s coordinated efforts to support areas in the southeastern United States that will be impacted by Hurricane Irma this weekend. State agencies have rapidly assessed and readied resources and personnel to send to other states when requested.

“Thankfully, Maryland appears to be out of harm’s way from the worst impacts of Hurricane Irma, however there are millions of people in our region and surrounding states in the path of this deadly storm,” said Governor Hogan. “As always, Maryland stands ready to support our friends and neighbors. We are prepared to provide any and all resources needed in the wake of Irma, as well as continued help for those recovering from Hurricane Harvey.”

The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) continues to monitor this system and prepare for any hazards the State of Maryland may experience.

“The most intense threats from Hurricane Irma are not predicted to hit Maryland at this time,” said MEMA Executive Director Russell Strickland. “MEMA continues to monitor requests for assistance in areas that expect to be impacted by Irma or are recovering from Harvey. We are actively working with our state and local partners to coordinate resource support available throughout the Maryland emergency management system.”

The following State agencies are available to support states affected by Hurricane Irma:

Maryland Emergency Management Agency

  • MEMA has staff ready to support local and state emergency operations centers in affected areas and teams available to conduct damage assessments and recovery operations.

Maryland Military Department

  • The Maryland Military Department is able to deploy a Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team (HART) and search and rescue utility helicopters, aircraft and personnel.

Maryland State Police

  • The resources of the Maryland State Police Special Operations Division are on stand-by to assist if requested to respond. Those resources include the Maryland State Police Underwater Recovery Team of divers and a rescue boat; trained search and rescue personnel; tactical paramedics, and a Mobile Field Force Team of troopers for law enforcement support.

Maryland State Fire Marshall

  • Maryland State Fire Marshal would be able to provide boats, drone, investigation unit personnel, fire protection engineers, and additional first response personnel.

Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems

  • MIEMSS has identified Advanced Life Support (ALS) Ambulance Strike Teams (AST) ready to assist. Each team has 5 ambulances and a leader with support/response vehicle, each unit staffed for 24/7 operations. MIEMSS has a staffed Medical Ambulance Bus with a supervisor and has personnel with vehicles to lead and support deployed Maryland EMS resources.

Governor’s Office of Homeland Security

  • The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security has alerted all personnel to be available for staffing requests consistent with weather forecasts, response planning or actual occurrences.
  • Homeland Security has proactively contacted counterparts in forecasted affected States offering assistance.
  • Homeland Security personnel remain available to assist storm affected jurisdictions with personnel consistent with availability and type.

Maryland Department of Aging

  • The Maryland Department of Aging has spoken with the Director of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs to offer our support and stands ready with Aging expert personnel to assist however possible.  This includes providing training to shelter staff about older adults and assisting in relocating older adults back to their homes.  The expertise available includes Certificated Information and Referral Specialists with Maryland Access Point, and Long-Term Care Ombudsmen services for individuals who live in long-term care facilities.
  • The Eldercare Locator (1-800-677-1116 or serves as a resource for older adults and long distance caregivers.

Maryland Department of Agriculture

  • MDA is prepared to respond to requests to assist with intake of companion animals at pet-friendly shelters in an affected state.
  • MDA is prepared to respond to requests to assist with animals in distress.

Maryland Department of Commerce

  • The Maryland Department of Commerce is able to assist other states affected by Hurricane Irma by identifying hotel and motel vacancies in Maryland to accommodate those seeking temporary housing.
  • The department will conduct economic impact analysis by identifying companies in affected areas and the number of affected people and employees.

Maryland Department of Disabilities

  • The Department of Disabilities is prepared to support response and recovery operations in impacted states in the following ways:
  • Technical assistance and support for assistive technology
  • Evaluate documents and websites for conformance to universal design and accessibility to assistive technology.
  • Train emergency managers on the essential nature of information accessibility, and how to create social media that is accessible to all viewers.
  • Assist public information/media officers, as requested, to remediate documents and social media messages for universal accessibility.
  • Advise senior leadership and policy teams on emerging issues that impact people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.
  • Examine planning documents to ensure inclusion of the whole community.
  • Identify and resolve issues that affect individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.
  • Guidance to ensure that response, sheltering, and recovery policies affecting people with disabilities are consistent and appropriate.
  • Provide resource referral and information.
  • The department’s partner organizations have inventories of DME such as wheelchairs, walkers, etc. available for short term loan in the event equipment is destroyed.

Maryland Department of Education

  • ​Provide support and guidance to Local School Systems and families for the immediate enrollment of displaced students into Maryland Public Schools.  The enrollment of students would need to be expedited with or without transcripts, student records, any specialized documentation of services including Special Education, etc.
  • Work with the school systems regarding immunization requirements and temporary admission/retention.  The MSDE would facilitate communication with the Maryland Department of Health.
  • Provide support and guidance to student services personnel (Directors of Student Services, school counselors, nurses, psychologists, social workers, pupil personnel workers, etc.)
  • Address the needs of students who are in crisis and who are experiencing trauma as a result of the displacement by collaborating with community partners, other Maryland State agencies, and school systems
  • Coordinate with appropriate offices to meet the needs of English Learners, migrant and homeless students
  • Coordinate the collection of school supplies for students who are displaced
  • Work with transportation in order to transport students to schools
  • Collaborate with non-public schools as needed
  • Post information on the front page of MSDE’s website to provide assistance and guidance to families regarding enrollment and resources

Maryland Department of the Environment

  • Environment has HazMat response teams and inspectors with various expertise related to emergency and disaster response and recovery.

Maryland Department of Health

  • The Health Department’s Office of Preparedness & Response also coordinates the Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps, in which thousands of volunteers could be deployed in the event of a public health emergency.
  • The Office of Preparedness & Response also has worked with State partner agencies such as Department of Human Services, the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency to review procedures for accepting potential evacuees from storm zones.

Maryland Department of Human Services

  • The Maryland Department of Human Services has human service, mass care, sheltering, and recovery workers prepared to deploy to affected states.
  • Human Services has communicated with facilities and staff in case it was necessary to open disaster shelters and coordinated planning with the Red Cross.

Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation

  • Following the storm, the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation will offer unemployment and workforce resources and services to U.S. residents affected by Hurricane Irma, to include assistance with the intake of unemployment claims.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources

  • The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has trailer-able boats and experienced operators, if needed. Our coastal resiliency and restoration teams have already been in contact with our sister states to discuss shoreline rebuilding and reconstruction. We have a team of water quality experts on hand to assist with monitoring and sampling post-storm.
  • Natural Resources Police has equipment, officers and supervisors available to assist affected states and communities. They can help with boat deployments, mission control support, search and recovery/rescue missions and security.

Maryland Department of Information Technology

  • Information Technology is capable of providing the following services to other states in the form of staff augmentation, hardware, and technical assistance in the following IT technical domains:
  • GIS Services and Professionals (mapping and analyzing data, mapping disaster areas, this can be done from Maryland)Networking LAN/WAN Support (running cables, setting networks up in temporary facilities)
  • Server and Storage (temporary use of of back end systems)
  • End User Computing/Desktop Support (staff augmentation)
  • IT helpdesk call center
  • Disaster Recovery Management – Assist in DR failover and Reconstitution
  • Web applications and content management
  • Mainframe COBOL Programmers
  • Mainframe zOS and DB2 support
  • Radio Technicians
  • 57 Handheld Radios P25 Motorola Radios

Maryland Department of Planning

  • Staff of the Maryland Historical Trust is available to assist State Historic Preservation Offices in the affected region by carrying out damage assessments and analysis of historic and cultural resources in communities affected by Hurricane Irma to determine the extent of damage and prioritize recovery operations. The Maryland Historical Trust is also available to provide guidance on repair, rehabilitation, and protection of historic and cultural resources as requested.

Maryland Department of Transportation

  • The Maryland Department of Transportation would be available to assist by providing equipment and personnel in the following areas:
  • Equipment and personnel for light debris removal, particularly along and adjacent to highways and roadways
  • Technicians to assist with signal light repair
  • Bridge Inspectors to ensure bridges and overpasses are not damaged by the storm or flooding conditions
  • The Maryland Transit Administration is prepared to deploy assets from its police force in order to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

Maryland Insurance Administration

  • As a member of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the Maryland Insurance Administration has a team of trained insurance professionals available to provide help and support with insurance issues to sister state insurance departments that might be impacted by the storms.

Maryland Public Service Commission

  • The Maryland Public Service Commission continues to coordinate with the Maryland electric companies on their storm preparation efforts.  All of the major Maryland electric companies continue to monitor the storm and are prepared for any potential impacts. They are also participating in regular calls regarding the provision of mutual assistance to areas impacted by Irma once the Maryland threat from Irma has subsided.

Maryland State Department of Assessment and Taxation

  • If property is damaged by the storm, residents may qualify to have their property assessments reduced. Once it is safe to do so, SDAT assessors will distribute applications to affected areas encouraging residents to apply, and will also perform on-site inspections.
  • If a storm occurs and residents qualify to have their property assessments reduced, SDAT will coordinate with local governments to ensure any corrected tax bills or refunds are issued in a timely manner.

As MEMA Monitors Hurricane Irma, Residents Should Prepare

As MEMA Monitors Hurricane Irma, Residents Should Prepare

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (September 7, 2017) — The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) continues to monitor Hurricane Irma and additional tropical weather systems in the Atlantic. While it is still too early to know what impacts, if any, that Irma may have on Maryland next week, residents should prepare now.

“I urge all Marylanders to prepare now for the potential effects of Hurricane Irma,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “While we have the benefit of time, review your family emergency plans and ensure you have supplies on hand. As always, Maryland stands ready to support our friends and neighbors in states that will be dealing with the impacts from this major hurricane first.”

In addition to continuous communication with the National Weather Service, MEMA is coordinating with local emergency management offices and state partners to ensure that they have the information and resources they need to respond.

“Hurricane tracks can shift quickly,” said Russ Strickland, Executive Director of MEMA. “Everyone in our area should regularly check forecasts, build an emergency kit, and always listen to the directions of local officials.”

Before a storm, residents and visitors in Maryland can:

  • Prepare an emergency kit and create a family communications plan. Good supplies to have on hand include bottled water and non-perishable food, a battery-operated radio, flashlight, extra batteries, toiletries, and copies of important documents.
  • Check to see if you are in a flood-prone area on our website:
  • Communicate with friends, family members, and neighbors and make sure that they are up to date with the latest information and weather forecast.

MEMA Reminds Marylanders that September is National and Maryland Preparedness Month

Click here to listen to this press release.

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Governor Larry Hogan and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) are reminding Marylanders that September is both National and Maryland Preparedness Month. Throughout the month, state officials are urging all residents to review preparedness information for severe weather and other emergencies. In an effort to promote preparedness, Maryland’s government agencies, businesses, community groups, schools, and families will participate in events around the state.

“Preparing for an emergency before it happens can make a huge difference both in our homes and our communities,” said Governor Hogan. “This month is a reminder that the time to prepare is now and that all Marylanders must work together and help each other during weather-related emergencies and other hazardous situations.”

Common hazards in Maryland include flooding, high wind, severe thunderstorms, and winter storms. Several online sources provide good emergency preparedness information for these and additional threats including:

During Preparedness Month, MEMA will be announcing events and information throughout September on our Twitter feed @MDMEMA, Facebook page and Instagram.

“The devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey should remind us that we all need to be prepared for emergencies,” said Russ Strickland, Executive Director of MEMA. “Right now we are in the height of the hurricane season in the mid-Atlantic, but we also need to be ready for a variety of other threats. Now is the time to make sure you are prepared.”

Governor Hogan Makes Ceremonial Call On “Maryland FiRST” Marking Completion Of The Third Phase Of New Statewide 700 MHz Radio System

Governor Hogan Makes Ceremonial Call On “Maryland FiRST” Marking Completion Of The Third Phase Of New Statewide 700 MHz Radio System

Click here to read the press release from the Maryland State Police

Subscribe to MEMA

News Archives