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Maryland Department of Emergency Management

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Maryland Travel Safety Week Begins as Holiday Travel Season Gets Underway

November 14th, 2022

MDEM Reminds Travelers to “Know Before You Go”
Be Ready for Longer Travel Times
Comply With State’s New Move Over Law

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Maryland Travel Safety Week 2022

REISTERSTOWN, MD (November 14, 2022) — As the busiest travel time of the year approaches, the Maryland Department of Emergency Management (MDEM) wants to make sure all Maryland residents are as safe as possible as they travel during this holiday season. MDEM’s Annual Maryland Travel Safety Week aims to ensure that residents are equipped with the latest travel safety information as we approach this busy time of the year.

One important change for drivers is the revision to the State’s  “Move Over Law,” which has been expanded to require motorists to make a lane change or slow down when approaching ANY stopped, standing, or parked vehicle displaying warning signals – including hazard warning lights, road flares, or other caution signals including traffic cones, caution signs, or non-vehicular warning signs.

MDEM also reminds travelers that, regardless of their mode of transportation, they should remember to “Know Before You Go” and “If You See Something, Say Something.”

“During this holiday travel season, we want to remind all Marylanders to be alert, prepared, and  aware of their surroundings,” said MDEM Secretary Russ Strickland. “We would like everyone to have a safe holiday season. Taking the extra time to plan before your trip and also letting authorities know if you see something suspicious makes a big difference.”

MDEM designated November 14-20 as Maryland Travel Safety Week in preparation of the beginning of holiday travel to encourage safe travel all year on all modes of transportation. MDEM encourages travelers to learn about safe travel practices whether using roads, air, or rail, and as pedestrians and bike riders. You should also be aware of safety at various types of lodgings and at gatherings.

MDEM encourages Marylanders to review some of these simple practices recommended by safety specialists covering a variety of transportation methods.

Know Before You Go — Do not head out for travel uninformed, unprepared, and hoping to learn about travel conditions and your destination while enroute. Check on road and traffic conditions along your route; check for last minute delays or cancellations before heading to the airport or train station; always check local weather forecasts to make sure you pack appropriate clothing and prepare for potential travel delays.

If You See Something, Say Something — If you see a suspicious activity, device or package, or overhear a suspicious conversation, report it immediately to a facility manager, carrier employee, or law enforcement. If you see accidents or hazards along the roadway or hiking/biking trails, make sure to alert local law enforcement, highway officials, or parks employees so they can respond.

Safety tips when traveling by motor vehicle

  • Allow extra time for travel due to increased traffic and congestion.
  • Stay alert and give driving your full attention.
  • Show courtesy to other drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.
  • Don’t drive aggressively.
  • Comply with traffic laws and heed all traffic signs, signals, and markings.
  • Make sure all passengers are using seat belts and car seats properly.
  • Make sure to have an emergency kit in your car with jumper cables, snacks, bottled water, and seasonally appropriate items like blankets, sand, or cat litter.
  • Be especially careful in work zones and remember to always pull over one lane (if safely possible) or reduce speeds for ANY vehicle on the shoulder.
  • Motorcycle drivers and passengers must wear U.S. DOT-approved helmets in many states, and must wear eye protection as well.  Check regulations where you will be traveling.

Other information for safe travel on the roads is available from the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration or  AAA Mid-Atlantic. For information about safety on Maryland toll roads, bridges, and tunnels, please visit the Maryland Transportation AuthorityMDOT SHA also has motorcycle safety tips. For safety tips related to large commercial vehicles and intercity (non-transit) buses, please visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Safety tips when traveling by taxi or rideshare

  • Ask ahead for the typical price and tipping range.
  • Call for a taxi instead of hailing one.
  • If using a shared ride service like Uber or Lyft, make sure you verify the correct driver before getting into the car.
  • Look for a meter, a radio, a badge, and a door handle.
  • Sit in the backseat – not in the passenger seat.
  • Keep expensive items hidden and keep your belongings close.

Here are taxi safety tips from the Travel Insurance Review and a link to the taxi riders consumer bill of rights from the Maryland Public Service CommissionSafety.com offers these tips for those using rideshare services, which often are not regulated in the same way as taxi services.

Safety tips when traveling by air

  • Be on time, allow time to get through the security checkpoint, and build in time for possible schedule changes.
  • Always stay alert and watch your bags and belongings.
  • Don’t let anyone but uniformed airline personnel handle your bags.
  • If you need help navigating the airport, check with the information desks or airport/airline employees.
  • Be aware of what can and cannot be carried with your carry-on bags and luggage.

Other information for safe air travel can be found from Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport and the Transportation Security Administration.

Safety tips when traveling by railroad

  • Always stay alert and watch your bags and belongings.
  • Watch your step when boarding and leaving the train and moving from car to car.
  • Never attempt to board or exit a moving train.
  • Make sure you familiarize yourself with the safety card found in most seat backs.
  • Arrive at least 30 minutes before your train is due to depart. Some stations require additional time.
  • Report any suspicious behavior to police, station personnel, Amtrak Police, or by calling 1-800-331-0008.

More information about intercity rail travel safety can be found from Amtrak or the Amtrak Police. The Federal Railroad Administration has information for motorists and pedestrians at railroad crossings.

Safety tips when using public transportation (bus, subway, light rail, commuter rail)

  • Check schedules ahead of time and leave sufficient time to make appropriate connections.
  • Download apps that allow you to check arrival times and pay fares.
  • Always keep jewelry and other valuables out of sight. If your pocket is picked, yell out immediately to warn others; don’t be afraid to shout. Tell the train or bus operator and request the police.
  • Pay particular attention to your electronics, such as cell phones, tablets, and laptop computers.
  • Use caution when on rail platforms and at bus drop-offs, especially when surfaces are wet or icy.

Here are some safety tips from Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Administration, which operates Metro bus and rail service in the Washington, D.C. area. Here are anti-theft tips from the Maryland Transit Administration, which operates bus, subway, and light rail service in the Baltimore metro area.

Safety tips for lodging facilities (hotels, motels, resorts, short-term, and vacation rentals)

  • Stay in facilities that have hard-wired smoke alarms and an automatic fire sprinkler system in each guest room.
  • Read the fire evacuation plan carefully.
  • Find the two closest exits from your room.
  • Count the number of doors between your room and the exits; this will assist you if you need to evacuate in the dark.
  • Find the fire alarms on your floor.
  • If the rental is a vacation or private home, make sure the facility has dead bolt locks on all doors and locking windows, and has appropriate fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide alarms.
  • If a vacation or private home rental has a swimming pool, make sure someone is observing all swimmers and that proper safety equipment is available.
  • Know the cancellation policy when making a reservation.

You can find additional safety tips for travelers staying at vacation and private home rentals from iPropertyManagement. You can find more hotel/motel safety tips from SmarterTravel.

Safety tips for pedestrians

  • Use sidewalks and marked crosswalks whenever possible.
  • Always stop at the curb and look left, right, and left again before crossing a street and watch for cars turning in or leaving driveways.
  • Wear light or bright colored clothing or reflective items, especially before sunrise and after sunset.
  • Pay attention and take off headphones while walking – no texting or playing games.

The MDOT State Highway Administration has more safety tips for pedestrians, as does the Federal Highway Administration.

Safety tips for those using bicycles

  • Stop at all red lights and stop signs.
  • Ride defensively – expect the unexpected.
  • Ride with traffic, never against it.
  • Use hand signals when turning or stopping.
  • Stay visible when riding at night and during inclement weather.
  • Wear a helmet correctly.

MDOT State Highway Administration has additional bicycle safety tips, as does the Federal Highway Administration.

Safety tips for traveling on the water

Whether piloting your own recreational boats or traveling on a passenger vessel (cruise ship or ferry), here are some important safety tips:

  • Check weather forecasts for approaching fronts or storm watches. By the time a storm or gale warning is issued, it might be too late to get to a safe harbor.
  • Never allow passengers to ride on the bow, gunwale, transom, seat backs, or other spots where they might fall overboard.
  • Wear your engine cut-off switch lanyard and your life jacket at all times. If the lanyard is removed from the switch, the engine will not shut off.
  • Children under 13 must wear a United States Coast Guard approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD) while underway on a recreational vessel under 21 feet in length.
  • For maximum safety, all persons on recreational boats should wear an approved PFD.
  • On passenger vessels, follow all safety directions, read prepared safety material, and participate in all life safety drills.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has specific information for recreational boats traveling in Maryland waters, including kayaks and rowboats. The United States Coast Guard also has boater safety information. The Maryland Port Administration has information for people traveling out of the Baltimore cruise ship terminal. The Cruise Critic also has some tips for traveling safely on cruise ships.

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CONTACT:
Jorge Castillo, jorge.castillo@maryland.gov, 443-381-3518
Ed McDonough, ed.mcdonough@maryland.gov, 410-446-3333
24/7 line: 877-636-2872


Maryland Receives $10.87 Million in Federal Funds from Homeland Security Grant Program to Enhance State, Local Preparedness Funds Assist with Homeland Security Protection

October 28th, 2022

REISTERSTOWN, MD (October 28, 2022) — The Maryland Department of Emergency Management (MDEM) has distributed more than $10.87 million to prepare State and local governments against terrorist attacks. The State award was issued in May by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and MDEM recently announced its distribution to partners in Maryland.

“The safety of Maryland and the protection of our residents is a top priority for MDEM, and federal funding is vital to help our State and its local jurisdictions to remain prepared against terrorist attacks,” said MDEM Secretary Russ Strickland. “This grant will fund capability-building at the state and local government level by enhancing planning, organizing, training, and equipment purchase while improving emergency managers’ response.”

The Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) includes a group of risk-based grants to assist State, local, tribal and territorial efforts in preventing, protecting against, mitigating, responding to, and recovering from acts of terrorism and other threats. These grants provide recipients with the resources required for implementation of the National Preparedness System and working toward the goal of a secure and resilient nation.

The recent distribution by MDEM includes more than $7 million in State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSP) funds distributed across the State and another $3.8 million in Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) funds distributed to jurisdictions in the Baltimore metro area. Jurisdictions in the National Capital Region receive money from a different UASI fund that is administered by that region. Distributions are based on population and the location of critical infrastructure, among other factors.

UASI allocations are decided by a working group of emergency management professionals and other officials in those areas. This year’s HSGP grants were more than $1.12 billion nationwide. For more information about the program, visit www.fema.gov/grants/preparedness/homeland-security

Jurisdiction

UASI

SHSP

Allegany $166,946.00
Annapolis $467,779.23 $148,541.00
Anne Arundel $391,751.41 $347,886.00
Baltimore City $530,945.42 $797,328.00
Baltimore $331,244.42 $445,596.00
Calvert $93,380.00
Caroline $98,205.00
Carroll $353,016.42 $144,564.00
Cecil $123,786.00
Charles $103,026.00
Dorchester $95,864.00
Frederick $158,887.00
Garrett $87,042.00
Harford $358,063.69 $141,802.00
Howard $453,199.41 $248,653.00
Kent $93,472.00
Montgomery $100,000.00 $528,781.00
Ocean City $105,876.00
Prince George’s $546,304.00
Queen Anne’s $161,218.00
St. Mary’s $100,582.00
Somerset $89,428.00
Talbot $91,026.00
Washington $190,237.00
Wicomico $107,156.00
Worcester $87,467.00
Baltimore Metropolitan Council $160,000.00 $0.00

SUB TOTAL

$3,146,000.00

$5,303,053.00

GRAND TOTAL Including MDEM Admin and Operational Costs

$3,800,000.00

$7,074,841.00

NOTE: The difference between the totals at the top and the totals at the bottom are monies used by MDEM to cover administrative and operational costs.

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CONTACT:
Jorge Castillo, jorge.castillo@maryland.gov, 443-381-3518
Ed McDonough, ed.mcdonough@maryland.gov, 410-446-3333
24/7 line: 877-636-2872


Maryland Department of Emergency Management Receives $693,000 Grant to Help Partners Prevent Targeted Violence and Terrorism

September 16th, 2022

DHS Administered Program Helps State and Local Agencies Work with Academic Institutions, Private Sector, Nonprofits

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Department of Homeland Security Grants

REISTERSTOWN, MD (September 16, 2022) — The Maryland Department of Emergency Management (MDEM) has received a Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention (TVTP) grant of $693,000 to help community partners build capacity to keep Marylanders safe. The grant will cover activities from Oct. 1, 2022 to Sept. 30, 2024.

“The TVTP grant provides the funding that will improve our understanding of targeted violence aimed at public spaces where Marylanders gather every day. It will also fund the risk assessment tools needed to develop strategies that will improve the security and protection of these gathering sites,” said MDEM Secretary Russ Strickland. “This grant will allow us to work with other State and local agencies, academic partners, and the private and nonprofit sectors to give communities the tools to help prevent and protect against these attacks.”

The grant funds will be used to help determine best practices and identify locally based strategies to address radicalization and targeted violence and extremism. They will also fund strengthening threat assessment and management capabilities of local jurisdictions by developing a threat assessment framework to enhance existing capabilities or establish them where they don’t exist.

The TVTP Grant Program is administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and provides funding for State, local, tribal, and territorial governments, nonprofits, and institutions of higher education with funds to establish or enhance capabilities to prevent targeted violence and terrorism. Developing local prevention capabilities is a key element of Goal 3 of the Strategic Framework to Counter Terrorism and Targeted Violence.

The TVTP Grant Program provides assistance to implement that goal and develops innovative solutions to prevent targeted violence and terrorism. DHS has more information about the TVTP Grant Program at www.dhs.gov/tvtpgrants.

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CONTACT:
Jorge Castillo, jorge.castillo@maryland.gov, 443-381-3518
Ed McDonough, ed.mcdonough@maryland.gov, 410-446-3333
24/7 line: 877-636-2872


MDEM Coordinates Deployment of 11 Local Utility Workers to Provide Mutual Aid to Jackson, MS

September 15th, 2022

Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission Water and Anne Arundel County Employees Help Repair Water System Using National Emergency Management Assistance Compact

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MDEM Coordinates Deployment of 11 Local Utility Workers to Provide Mutual Aid to Jackson, MS (1)REISTERSTOWN, MD (September 15, 2022) — The Maryland Department of Emergency Management (MDEM) has helped to coordinate the deployment of utility workers from Maryland to assist with mitigating the water plant issues in Jackson, MS. The deployment was coordinated using the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), a nationwide system that facilitates the sharing of resources between states during an emergency.

In all, 11 Maryland workers are assisting in Jackson, 7 from the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission Water (WSSC Water) and 4 from the Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works. The group includes Class A surface water and membrane operators, instrument technicians, licensed electricians, mechanics, general maintenance workers, and an emergency management specialist.

“Throughout our nation, states have never hesitated to support their counterparts when they are in times of crisis.” said MDEM Secretary Russ Strickland. “It is important that we continue to help other communities when they need it the most. I want to thank the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission and Anne Arundel County for stepping up to the plate to help with what has become a humanitarian crisis in Jackson.”

Recent heavy rains caused the Pearl River to overflow its banks, causing serious flood damage in Jackson and disrupting the water distribution system in the city of about 150,000 residents. However, the city’s aging water infrastructure was having issues before the recent flood.

The team from Maryland joins utility specialists from other states and local workers to help repair the storm damage so the plant can again begin serving its residents. Those currently deployed will remain in Jackson until September 20, and the city, through the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, may request additional EMAC resources to replace them.

The employees from WSSC Water include  Brandon Brown, Sade Dunnock, Thomas Lilly, David McDonough, Stanley Pearson, James Price, and Zechary Windsor. The Anne Arundel employees are  Philip Daley, Vincent-Dang Nguyen, Robert Swann, and Edwin “Chip” Yuniga.

EMAC, considered the all-hazards national mutual aid system, has been ratified by the U.S. Congress and is law in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Through EMAC, states can share resources from all disciplines, protect personnel who deploy, and be reimbursed for mission-related costs. To learn more about EMAC, visit https://www.emacweb.org/

MDEM Coordinates Deployment of 11 Local Utility Workers to Provide Mutual Aid to Jackson, MS (2)


MDEM Coordinates Deployment of 11 Local Utility Workers to Provide Mutual Aid to Jackson, MS (3)


MDEM Coordinates Deployment of 11 Local Utility Workers to Provide Mutual Aid to Jackson, MS (4)

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CONTACT:
Jorge Castillo, jorge.castillo@maryland.gov, 443-381-3518
Ed McDonough, ed.mcdonough@maryland.gov, 410-446-3333
24/7 line: 877-636-2872


State of Maryland Provides Security Grant Funding to Nonprofits

August 30th, 2022

Through Relief Fund Act of 2021, Federal Government, Maryland, Continue to “Shape a More Resilient Maryland Where Communities Thrive”

REISTERSTOWN Md. (August 30, 2022) — The Maryland Department of Emergency Management (MDEM) announced awards totaling more than $8.7 Million in federal homeland security grant funds to 68 nonprofit organizations around Maryland. The awards are funded by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 2022 Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP).  

“This funding provides much needed financial support to nonprofit groups, which  are part of the fabric of American life,” said MDEM Secretary Russ Strickland. “In a time of increasing threats to members of faith-based communities, houses of worship, and schools across the United States, these grants provide the funding to secure public spaces where Marylanders gather every day and will help prevent or minimize the consequences of any possible attack.”

These grant programs are part of a comprehensive set of measures authorized by Congress and implemented by DHS to help strengthen the nation’s communities against potential terrorist attacks. Funding can be used for contracted security personnel, as well as security-related planning, exercises, training, and the acquisition and installation of security equipment on real property (including buildings and improvements) owned or leased by the nonprofit organization. The grants are being provided to 68 nonprofits around the State out of 115 applicants. 

The NSGP provides $250 million nationally in funding support for hardening and other physical security enhancements to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of terrorist attack. The intent of the competitively awarded grant funding is to assist organizations in obtaining the resources required to support and integrate preparedness activities with broader state and local preparedness efforts. It is also designed to promote coordination and collaboration in emergency preparedness activities among public and private community representatives, as well as state and local government agencies. 

The following is a list and breakdown of the Maryland nonprofit organizations that applied for and received NSGP awards. NSGP awards for nonprofits in the National Capital Region (NCR) are not processed by MDEM. 

Awardees  

NSGP – State Allotment – $2,098,727  

 

Temple Bat Yam $98,995
Temple B’nai Israel $75,000
Sacred Monastery of Saint Nina, Inc. $130,000
Williamsport Church of God $150,000
Redeeming Grace Baptist Church $26,907
Chesapeake Church $128,099
Beth Sholom Congregation $150,000
Shoresh, Inc. $150,000
Calvary Assembly of God, Inc. $150,000
Islamic Society of Frederick, Incorporated $150,000
St. John Regional Catholic School $95,000
TidalHealth Peninsula Regional $150,000
The Banner School $150,000
Atlantic General Hospital $134,843
Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics $30,517
Mother Seton School Inc $150,000
Bishop Walsh School $147,366
Covenant Family Chapel $32,000

 

Baltimore Urban Area Allotment – $6,672,708

 

Agudath Israel of Baltimore $150,000
Bais Yaakov School For Girls (1) $150,000
Baltimore Hebrew Congregation $150,000
Beth Am In-town Synagogue $150,000
Beth Tfiloh $150,000
Bais Yaakov School for Girls (2) $150,000
B’Nai Israel Congregation Cemetery $89,550
B’nai Israel Congregation of Baltimore $150,000
Bnos Yisroel of Baltimore $150,000
Bolton Street Synagogue $74,731
Chabad Israel Center of Baltimore $150,000
Chabad Lubavitch of Hunt Valley $150,000
Chabad of Towson $150,000
Cheder Chabad Inc. $150,000
Chizuk Amuno Congregation $150,000
Congregation Beit Yaakov $150,000
Congregation Shomrei Emunah Inc. $150,000
Congregation of Kol Shalom $150,000
Darchei Noam Montessori $150,000
Edward Myerberg Senior Center $150,000
Faith Christian Fellowship Church $19,000
Grace Bible Baptist Church $107,575
Har Sinai-Oheb Shalom Congregation $150,000
Institute For Islamic, Christian Jewish Studies $110,577
Islamic Society of Baltimore $147,257
Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore $149,985
Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore $149,974
Mesivta Kesser Torah of Baltimore $150,000
Mt. Olive Methodist Church $136,000
Ner Israel Rabbinical College $150,000
Ohr Chadash Congregation $150,000
Ohr Hatorah Inc. $61,530
Owings Mills Synagogue Inc. $150,000
Pikesville Jewish Congregation $109,200
Resurrection St. Paul School $139,560
Saint Agnes Catholic Congregation $68,717
Saint Isaac Jogues Catholic Church $141,227
St. Agnes Catholic School $139,971
St. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church $147,097
St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church $150,000
St. Michael-St. Clement School Willow $120,886
St. Paul Church $148,943
Star-K Certification Inc. $150,000
Suburban Orthodox Congregation Toras Chaim $75,000
Talmudical Academy of Baltimore $150,000
Temple Beth Sholom of AA County $150,000
The Jewels School $105,000
Trinity Assembly of God $80,928
Yeshivas Lubavitch of Baltimore $150,000
Yeshivas Toras Simcha $150,000

 

Grand Total $8,771,435


MDEM Reminds You September is National and Maryland Preparedness Month

August 29th, 2022

This Year’s Theme is The Life You’ve Built is Worth Protecting; Prepare for Disasters to Create a Lasting Legacy for You and Your Family 

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (August 29, 2022) — September is National and Maryland Preparedness Month, and the Maryland Department of Emergency Management (MDEM) asks all Marylanders and visitors to the State to be prepared for all emergencies. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, with peak season occurring between mid-August and late October. 

“Preparedness Month is our annual reminder to make sure you are prepared for emergencies. It takes just one storm to change your life,” said Russ Strickland, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Emergency Management. “Being prepared for more common emergencies, like power outages and fires, will also help you recover better from floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other incidents.”

Preparing in advance of an emergency is one of the best ways to protect your family from the financial and emotional effects of a disaster. Flooding is the most common hazard in Maryland, and tornadoes, severe storms, dangerous heat, and severe winter storms are among some of the other potential hazards. The best financial protection is to be properly insured, whether you own or rent. And remember flood damage is typically not covered by your property insurance.

MDEM will be having different themes each week in September to emphasize various aspects of being prepared:

Week 1 September 1-4: Make A Plan and Sign Up for MdReady or MdListo (en español)

Talk to your friends and family about how you will communicate before, during, and after a disaster. Check out MdReady.Maryland.gov to sign up for alerts.  Since September coincides with the height of the hurricane season in Maryland, it’s important to be ready for hurricane-related hazards, such as flooding, high winds, and tornados. All of these hazards can affect the State even without a hurricane. It is important to have a family emergency plan, to have an emergency supply kit, and to be aware of the hazards that may affect you and the ones you care most about.

Week 2 September 5-11: Build A Kit

Gather supplies that will last for several days after a disaster for everyone living in your home.  Remember to consider the unique needs each person or pet may have in case you have to evacuate quickly. Update your kits and supplies based on recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control.  Also consider kits for your car, office, and dorm room. www.mdem.maryland.gov/Pages/Disaster-Supply-Kit.aspx

Week 3 September 12-18: Prepare to Protect

Limit the impacts that disasters have on you and your family.  Know the risks of disasters in your area and check your insurance coverage. Learn how to make your home stronger in the face of storms and other common hazards, and act fast if you receive a local warning or alert. Visit www.ready.gov/videos#npm

Week 4 September 19-25: Personal Disaster Preparedness for People with Disabilities and Functional Access Needs

For people with disabilities and their families, it is important to consider individual circumstances and needs to effectively prepare for emergencies and disasters. Also remember to include older adults, children, and pets in your planning. VIsit www.ready.gov/disability-toolkit 

Week 5 September 26-30: Teach Youth About Preparedness

Talk to younger people about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated. Reassure them by providing information about how they can get involved. Visit www.ready.gov/kids/prepare-your-family

As part of Preparedness Month, MDEM will participate in several activities. On Sept. 1 at 7:00 p.m., MDEM will host a Facebook Live with Chris Strong from the National Weather Service Baltimore-Washington Forecast Office to discuss the outlook for the remainder of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season. At noon on Sept. 8, MDEM will join the Maryland Insurance Administration for a “Lunch with MIA” Facebook Live to discuss preparedness.

Throughout the month, MDEM staff members will share their own preparedness tips on our social media platforms, and on Throwback Thursdays we will highlight past MDEM Preparedness videos.

If you live near the ocean, the Chesapeake Bay, or its tributaries, it also is important to understand Maryland’s Know Your Zone hurricane evacuation plan. To learn more about the program and hurricane preparedness in Maryland, visit KnowYourZoneMD.com

You can learn more about being prepared for any hazard from MDEM, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Weather Service or the American Red Cross.

MDEM leadership and communications staff are available for interviews for media outlets and public affairs shows throughout the month. Please contact Jorge Castillo or Ed McDonough (contact below) for arrangements.


Deputy Executive Director from Department of Emergency Management Selected for Inaugural FEMA Exchange Program

July 12th, 2022

Eby photo

REISTERSTOWN, MD (July 12, 2022) — Maryland Department of Emergency Management (MDEM) Deputy Executive Director Chas Eby has been selected to be one of the first participants in the new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Exchange Program. Eby will be working with FEMA leadership in Washington, DC through the end of the year to implement programs to deliver disaster recovery assistance to survivors and communities.

“I am honored to represent my home State in this new initiative to strengthen the field of emergency management,“ said Eby. “This is an opportunity to join best practices developed in Maryland with innovative programs FEMA is advancing.”

Eby is one of four individuals selected nationwide to the first cohort of this program. According to FEMA, the exchange program will provide an avenue to strengthen FEMA’s partnerships with state, territory, tribal, and local emergency managers to increase community resilience against disasters.

“This is a great opportunity for Chas and Maryland,” said Secretary of Emergency Management Russ Strickland. “He will bring excellent knowledge of state emergency management operations along with his exceptional collaboration skills to the program. Our department is proud of his selection and proud to be a national leader in our field .”

Eby has worked at the Department of Emergency Management for eight years, overseeing all programs, administration, and emergency operations in his current role. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School. Eby has completed the FEMA National Emergency Management Executive Academy and a fellowship with the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security. He is from and resides in the City of Baltimore.

You can find more information about FEMA’s Emergency Manager Exchange at fema.gov/partnerships/emergency-manager-exchange.

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CONTACT:
Jorge Castillo, jorge.castillo@maryland.gov, 443-381-3518
Ed McDonough, ed.mcdonough@maryland.gov, 410-446-3333
24/7 line: 877-636-2872


Looking Back: The 50th Anniversary of Hurricane Agnes

June 22nd, 2022
Lessons Learned Help Prepare Maryland for Future Storms

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (June 22, 2022) — This June marks the 50th anniversary of Hurricane Agnes striking Maryland and cutting a devastating path across much of the East Coast. According to the National Weather Service, Agnes was one of the most destructive hurricanes in United States history, claiming 117 lives and causing damage estimated at $3.1 billion in 12 states. Damage was particularly high in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia.

In Maryland, 21 lives were lost to flooding spawned by the remnants of Agnes, and it remains the deadliest named storm in state history. Agnes highlights the inland flooding threats from tropical storms, which often claims more lives and causes more damage than the high winds and storm surge where the storms make landfall.

“Agnes highlighted the dangers of inland flooding in Maryland from tropical storms,” said Maryland Department of Emergency Management Secretary Russ Strickland. “The aftermath of Agnes also has shown the importance of mitigating future flood events. In downtown Frederick, for example, the Carroll Creek flood mitigation project has reduced flooding in the area and has created a walkable greenspace that enhances the business district.”

The storm made landfall on the Florida panhandle as a weak hurricane  and quickly dropped to a tropical storm while heading northeast through Georgia, South Carol, and North Carolina. The storm headed out to sea at the North Carolina-Virginia border as it began to affect the mid-Atlantic. For the next two days, the center of the storm traveled along the Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey coast line, dumping heavy rains  in areas west of the storm track.

Agnes made landfall again over Long Island and eventually into southeast New York state on the night of June 22, and then was joined by a low-pressure system.  This created two storm centers, one of which moved into south central New York, and another that formed in northeastern Pennsylvania before looping southwest into central Pennsylvania.

Not only did the storm drop heavy rain on Maryland as it moved up the coast, but the heavy rains in central New York and Pennsylvania caused heavy flooding in northeast Maryland from the Susquehanna River watershed several days later.

Want to learn more about the history of Agnes and some of the ways it changes flood mitigation and emergency management? A website focusing on the history of the storm and flood mitigation effort has been created by several Silver Jackets teams in the mid-Atlantic region. Silver Jackets are state-based teams of State, local and federal partners who work together to reduce risks from floods and other weather-related events. The National Weather Service also has a page dedicated to historical events related to Hurricane Agnes.

Hurricane Agnes was a costly but valuable lesson in emergency preparedness. This hurricane season, keep yourself and your family safe by learning about the following preparedness steps.

Know Your Zone: 

It’s as easy as A-B-C. Know Your Zone is a new color-coded interactive map you can use to determine which storm evacuation zone you live in based upon your street address. Knowing your zone will help you avoid unnecessary evacuation travel, thereby reducing highway congestion, easing overcrowding at local storm shelters and boosting public safety. Simply click the ‘Find Your Zone” button. Enter your address on the map and view your color-coded evacuation zone. Emergency managers will work with local media and use social media and other tools to notify residents of impacted zones and what to do to stay safe.

You can learn more and find your Zone here: bit.ly/-Know-Your-Zone

Make a Plan:

  • Prepare an emergency kit and create a family communications plan.
  • Have multiple ways to receive weather watches and warnings and keep devices charged so they will still be usable for several hours if you lose power.
  • Familiarize yourself with hurricane evacuation routes in your area and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
  • Trim the trees and shrubs around your home to make them more wind resistant.
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage can, and anything else that is not tied down.
  • Consider installing a generator for emergency backup power generation.

You can learn more about what to do Before, During, and After a Hurricane here: bit.ly/-Before-During-After

Create a Kit:

Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with the items on the checklist below. Most of the items are inexpensive and easy to find, and any one of them could save your life.

To prepare your kit, gather the following supplies:

  • Food
  • Water
  • First Aid Kit
  • Tools and Supplies
  • Sanitation
  • Clothing & Bedding
  • Special Items for children, older adults, those with special needs and pets.

You can learn more about building a Disaster Kit here: bit.ly/-Build-A-Kit

NOTE: Emergency Management staff will be available for media interviews to discuss Hurricane Agnes and its aftermath over the next several days,

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CONTACT:
Jorge Castillo, jorge.castillo@maryland.gov, 443-381-3518
Ed McDonough, ed.mcdonough@maryland.gov, 410-446-3333
24/7 line: 877-636-2872


Marylanders Urged to Know Your Zone as 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins

June 1st, 2022

Be Prepared With an Emergency Plan and Kit     

REISTERSTOWN, MD (June 1, 2022) The 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially starts today and the Maryland Department of Emergency Management reminds people who live in, work in, or visit Maryland to Know Your Zone if a large storm requires evacuations from coastal and tidal areas. This season will also mark the 50th anniversary of Hurricane Agnes, still the deadliest named storm in State history.

Recent hurricane seasons have been unusually busy – 2020 set a record for named Atlantic Hurricanes – so it is important to Know Your Zone, and also have an emergency plan, a disaster supply kit, and multiple ways to receive warnings from the National Weather Service (NWS) and local emergency officials. Last year, Hurricane Ida, which made landfall in the Gulf of Mexico, still managed to cause tornadoes and flooding in Maryland and dangerous flash floods in the New York City area.

“Hurricane Ida taught us yet again that you don’t need to live in a coastal community to feel the impacts of tropical systems,” said Maryland Secretary of Emergency Management Russ Strickland. “While coastal storm surge and hurricane force winds are vivid images of hurricanes, in our area, inland flooding and tornadoes can be the biggest threats to life and property.”

When the remnants of Ida passed over Maryland last summer, several tornadoes were spawned, inducing one that caused substantial damage in the Annapolis area. Heavy rains also caused flash floods, inundating basement apartments at a complex in Montgomery County that led to a drowning. Farther up the coast, Ida’s heavy rains caused widespread flooding in New York City subway tunnels.

Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center are predicting above-average hurricane activity this year — which would make it the seventh consecutive above-average hurricane season. NOAA’s outlook for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, which extends from June 1 to November 30, predicts a 65 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 25 percent chance of a near-normal season, and a 10 percent chance of a below-normal season.

For the 2022 hurricane season, NOAA is forecasting a likely range of 14 to 21 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5, with winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence.

Marylanders should Know Your Zone to see if the places you live, work, or visit are in one of Maryland’s three evacuation zones. The Know Your Zone program allows local emergency officials to order evacuations by letter zones (A, B, and C) to more easily provide information to those in the area.

Here are some additional considerations while planning for hurricanes and other hazards: 

  • Plan now! Do not wait until the peak of hurricane season.
  • Pay attention to emergency information and alerts.
  • Determine your best protection for high winds and flooding.
  • Unless you live in an evacuation zone, make a plan to shelter-in-place in your home if it is safe to do so.
  • If you live in a mandatory evacuation zone, make a plan with friends or family to shelter with them where you will be safer and more comfortable.
  • Check with local authorities for the latest information about public evacuation shelters. Many may still require the use of masks.
  • Only use outdoor generators that are at least 20 feet away from your home and away from windows, doors, and vents.
  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters.

For more information about hurricane preparedness, including sample emergency plans and supply kit information, please visit MDEM, FEMA, the National Weather Service, and the American Red Cross

For access to preparedness tips and information, install the MdReady web app by visiting MdReady.Maryland.gov on your mobile device’s web browser. To receive text alerts, tips, and resources related to threats and hazards that may affect Maryland, text “MdReady” to 211-MD1 (211-631).

 

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Maryland Resources Available for Preventing and Preparing for Active Assailant Events 

May 25th, 2022

School safety logo - AAIWG

Active Assailant Interdisciplinary Work Group

 

ANNAPOLIS, MD (May 25, 2022) – On behalf of the Maryland Center for School Safety and Active Assailant Interdisciplinary Work Group for the State of Maryland, we offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and communities directly affected by the horrific events in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York, as well as those across the country who are shaken by these events in their own local communities. 

In Maryland, we have been committed to working on the prevention of mass violence and preparedness and response to such events in a collaborative fashion with our State, federal and local partners with increased attention and diligence with a series of actions directed by Governor Hogan in 2018.  

This includes ensuring there are ample resources available to the public. The Maryland Active Assailant Interdisciplinary Work Group keeps a robust resource library related to the prevention of, preparedness for, and response to active assailant incidents.  The materials are divided into general prevention and early intervention resources, as well as sector or audience-specific materials relevant to specific industries, communities, or events. To find resources and learn more, visit aaiwg.maryland.gov.

The State offers multiple resources for assistance.  For school safety concerns, we offer the Safe Schools Maryland (SSMD) anonymous reporting system. SSMD exists to ensure that individuals have a mechanism to report school and student safety concerns anonymously and securely. Anonymous reports can be submitted by calling (1-833-MD-B-SAFE / 1-833-632-7233), completing an online form, or downloading the free Safe Schools Maryland app from the App Store or Google Play.​ More information on Safe Schools Maryland can be found at safeschoolsmd.org.   For non-emergency suspicious activity reports, call the Maryland Coordination and ;Analysis Center (MCAC) at 1-800-492-TIPS(8477).  And, if you or someone you know needs assistance with mental or behavioral health care, please check the Behavioral Health Administration’s Help Page, or contact Maryland’s Helpline at 2-1-1 press 1.

The passage of the Safe to Learn Act of 2018 expanded resources and programming of the Maryland Center for School Safety (MCSS).   MCSS provides schools and school systems throughout the State with training and support on school safety prevention and intervention, emergency preparedness, and creating and maintaining healthy school communities.  MCSS maintains a directory of school safety resources on its website for students, teachers, and families, and will also send staff to conduct training sessions on topics of interest.  To learn more, please visit schoolsafety.maryland.gov.

By Executive Order issued on February 28, 2018, Governor Hogan authorized the Maryland Active Assailant Interdisciplinary Work Group (AAIWG), co-chaired by the Maryland State Police (MSP) and Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS), with oversight from the Maryland Department of Emergency Management (MDEM).  The work group is composed of several local, state and federal agencies, including the Maryland Center for School Safety (MCSS), to ensure all procedures are cohesive across jurisdictional boundaries.

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CONTACT: Active Assailant Interdisciplinary Work Group, 410-281-2361 or aaiwg.mdem@maryland.gov.

 

410.281.2361 | aaiwg.mema@maryland.gov

 


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