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Maryland Travel Safety Week Reminds Travelers to be Prepared as Busy Holiday Season Approaches

As Airport, Traffic Volume Rises to Near Pre-Pandemic Level, Be Ready for Longer Travel Times, Lingering COVID-19 Safety Requirements

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

REISTERSTOWN, MD (November 19, 2021) —  Experts say travel is returning to near pre-pandemic levels for both holiday and regular day-to-day travel, and the Maryland Department of Emergency Management (MDEM) wants to make sure you are as safe as possible as you move around. MDEM’s Annual Maryland Travel Safety Week is an effort to ensure that residents are equipped with the latest travel safety information as we approach what is normally the busiest travel week of the year. MDEM would like travelers to remember three things:

  1. Know Before You Go.
  2. If You See Something, Say Something.
  3. Be aware of COVID-19 restrictions that may still be in place where you travel.

“As more people travel to be with family and friends this holiday season, it is important to remember to be aware of your surroundings,” said MDEM Secretary Russ Strickland. “Some of us may be visiting places we have not been to in a while and might be using modes of transportation we haven’t used recently. It is important to remain alert so you can have a safe, hassle free visit.”

MDEM designated November 21-27 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 leave your house 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 if you 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 it can be removed.

COVID-19 Restrictions — Different communities and businesses have different pandemic travel restrictions related to vaccination status, test results, face coverings and distancing. Have electronic and/or paper copies of your COVID-19 vaccination records and pack extra face coverings for all family members to use where required. Remember that federal regulations require masks in all passenger airports and aircraft.

General COVID-19 travel safety tips

  • Do not travel if you are sick, with someone else who is sick, or if you have been around anyone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
  • Bring additional antiseptic wipes or hand sanitizer, but beware of the size restrictions of liquid containers that can be carried onto a commercial airplane.
  • Maintain required distancing based on the regulation for the air,  rail, or bus provider.
  • COVID-19 may impact the amount of passengers, capacity of terminals and airport screening areas, and the availability of certain facilities, so factor this into your travel time.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has COVID-19 safety tips for traveling and general information.

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 and 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 and sand or cat litter.
  • Be especially careful in work zones and remember to always pull over one lane (if safely possible) or reduce speeds when emergency or service vehicles are on the shoulder.
  • Motorcycle drivers and passengers must wear U.S. DOT-approved helmets in many states. Drivers must wear eye protection as well.  Check regulations where you will be travelling.

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) busses, please visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Safety tips when travelling 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 things close.

Here are taxi safety tips from the Travel Insurance Review and here is a link to the taxi riders consumer bill of rights from the Maryland Public Service Commission.

Safety tips when travelling 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 and 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 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 cyclists

  • 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 travelling on the water

Whether piloting your own recreational boats, or travelling 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  while underway on a recreational vessel under 21 feet in length.
  • For maximum safety, ALL persons on recreational boats should wear approved Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs).
  • 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 travelling 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 travelling out of the Baltimore cruise ship terminal. The Cruise Critic also has some tips for travelling safely on  cruise ships.

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, locking windows, and 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.

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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 Plan, Remain Vigilant as Severe Weather Is Expected Friday Through Sunday

Annapolis Could See Third Biggest Flood in Recorded History

Significant to Major Tidal / Coastal Flooding Expected Along Shores of The Chesapeake Bay and Tidal Potomac River

Gale Warnings for The Chesapeake Bay, Potomac River, and Atlantic Coast Friday Morning Through Late Friday Night

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (October 28, 2021) — The Maryland Department of Emergency Management (MDEM) is urging all Marylanders to monitor weather conditions and ensure they are prepared for severe weather beginning this Friday, October 29 through Sunday, October 31.  The National Weather Service (NWS) is predicting a range of hazards to affect Maryland, including heavy rain, coastal and tidal flooding, and gale force winds.

“Now is the time to make sure you are ready for what this storm may bring,” said  Russ Strickland, MDEM’s Secretary. “Have a plan in case you need to leave the area, especially if you have pets. Ensure your emergency supply kit is ready to go, let family and friends know about your plans, have a portable radio to listen to weather updates in the event you lose power, make sure all your devices are charged, and that you have an extra supply of batteries.”

According to the NWS:

  1. Beginning today and lasting through Sunday, significant to major tidal / coastal flooding is expected along shores of the Chesapeake Bay and tidal Potomac River.
  2. Heavy rain with widespread amounts of 1-2 inches is also expected. Localized amounts of 3-4 inches and flooding are also possible.
  3. Gale Warnings for the Chesapeake Bay, Potomac River, and Atlantic Coast Friday morning through late Friday night.
    1. Storm Force Winds for middle and lower portions of Chesapeake Bay and lower Potomac River.
  4. Potentially greatest tidal flooding since Hurricane Isabel in some locations. 
  5. Highest water levels most likely late Friday into early Saturday.

MDEM also reminds Maryland residents and visitors to make sure emergency kits include at least 2 face coverings for each person, hand sanitizer, disinfectants, and other COVID-19 related supplies in addition to the usual disaster supply kit components.

Here are some additional considerations while planning for severe weather and other hazards during the COVID-19 pandemic: 

  • Never walk, swim, or drive through flood waters.
  • Pay attention to emergency information and alerts from official sources.
  • Determine your best protection for high winds and flooding.
  • Check with local authorities for the latest information about public evacuation shelters.
  • Only use generators outdoors and never in a garage. The generator should be at least 20 feet away from your home and away from windows, doors, and vents.
  • If you must evacuate, bring items such as hand sanitizer, cleaning materials, and two cloth face coverings per person. Children under 2 years old, people who have trouble breathing, and people who cannot take the cloth face covering off without help should not wear cloth face coverings. 

It is also important to allow extra time to evacuate because shelters might be farther away. As always, residents are better off locating shelter with family or friends outside the expected danger zone or staying at an accommodation of their choice. But State, local, and nonprofit partners will still provide shelter options. To receive alerts, tips, and resources related to COVID-19 and other threats and hazards affecting or that may affect Maryland during this hurricane season and beyond, text “MdReady” to 211-MD1.

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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


MEMA Becomes the Maryland Department of Emergency Management

October 1 Transition Will Allow Greater Efficiency, Flexibility in Emergency Response

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (September 30, 2021) — The Maryland Emergency Management Agency will become the Maryland Department of Emergency Management effective Friday, October 1, 2021. It will be a principal department reporting directly to the Governor’s office, and will have greater flexibility to handle administrative functions, especially during emergencies. As part of this transition, the Maryland 9-1-1 Board will become part of the newly established department.

“These are challenging but exciting times for emergency management and this move better positions us to respond to those challenges,” said Russ Strickland, the current MEMA Executive Director who becomes Acting Secretary of Emergency Management, pending confirmation by the Maryland State Senate in 2022. “The structure of our department will help us meet those challenges more efficiently and give us greater flexibility to serve Marylanders.”

This move is part of a broader trend across the nation where emergency management agencies are moving to report directly to the chief executive in states or local communities. This direct line of communication establishes a link between emergency managers and executives within government, which reduces lag time and improves response and recovery activities. Maryland joins a growing list of states which have elevated their emergency management agencies to principal departments.

The Maryland Department of Emergency Management was enacted during the 2021 Maryland General Assembly session and signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan on May 18. The legislation also moved the Emergency Number Systems Board — also known as the Maryland 9-1-1 Board — to the new Department.

Emergency management traces its roots to 1949, when the Maryland Civil Defense Agency was created as part of the Governor’s Office to face the challenges and nuclear hazards of the Cold War. In 1989, MEMA was created as part of the Maryland Military Department to focus on all natural and man-made hazards.

Emergency management staff will still work closely with its former parent agency. The Maryland National Guard and the Maryland Defense Force will continue to be important partners in preparation, training, response, and recovery activities.

The department will continue its focus on support for local emergency managers, effective mitigation strategies, coordinating emergency response, and helping the public better prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies and disasters.

NOTE: Maryland Department of Emergency Management leadership and communications staff will be available for media interviews to discuss the transition, contact Jorge Castillo or Ed McDonough (contact information below) to arrange an interview.

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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 Requests Joint Preliminary Damage Assessment

Anne Arundel County, Cecil County, The City of Annapolis, MEMA, FEMA to Assess Damage Costs After Ida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (September 9, 2021) The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), on behalf of Anne Arundel County, Cecil County, and the City of Annapolis, has formally requested a Joint Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) from FEMA, to begin early next week. Tropical Depression Ida brought tornados, high wind, and flash flooding to the state on September 1, 2021 and caused substantial damage in the State.  

Local jurisdictions sustained damage to residences and infrastructure and incurred significant response costs, necessitating additional assistance.  As a result, Maryland, through MEMA, has requested Individual Assistance and Public Assistance Joint Preliminary Damage Assessments to be scheduled as soon as possible by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

A Joint PDA is conducted to enable our State, FEMA, and local jurisdictions to determine the magnitude of damage and impact of disasters, in this case, the damages caused directly by the remnants of Hurricane Ida. Based on the data collected during the Joint PDA, the affected jurisdictions and MEMA will determine if they will request a Presidential Disaster Declaration.

A Joint PDA does not suggest, imply, or guarantee that any federal support will be available to Maryland and the affected jurisdictions.  For more information on Joint PDAs visit www.fema.gov/disaster/how-declared/preliminary-damage-assessments

*** END ***

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

 


MEMA Reminds Marylanders that September is National and Maryland Preparedness Month

Prepare to Protect: Preparing for Disasters is Protecting Everyone You Love

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (September 7, 2021)—September is National and Maryland Preparedness Month, and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) asks everyone to make sure they are prepared for emergencies.  As the remnants of Hurricane Ida demonstrated, Maryland has the potential for tornadoes, heavy rains and possible flooding and it is important to be prepared.

September is typically 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. These are all hazards that 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.

“While Ida is a stark reminder of the destructive capabilities of hurricanes, there are many hazards that can affect Marylanders every day of the year,” said MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland. “Being prepared for all emergencies is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and the ones you love.”

Flooding is the  most common hazard in Maryland, and tornadoes, severe storms, dangerous heat, and severe winter storms are among the other potential hazards. We encourage all Marylanders to remain vigilant for all hazards that might affect them during September and throughout hurricane season. Also, the COVID-19 pandemic persists, which means we must continue to include accommodations for the pandemic in evacuation and sheltering plans, and extra items needed in an emergency supply kit, such as masks and hand sanitizer.

As part of Preparedness Month, MEMA will partner with other agencies to host a series of Take Action Tuesdays Facebook Live events at 12 noon:

  • Sept. 7: Insurance and Financial Considerations and Scams
  • Sept. 14: Emergency Supply Kit, Emergency Plan, and Pet Preparedness /Preparing Your Home
  • Sept. 21: Propane Safety/Water Safety
  • Sept. 28: Preparedness for Individuals with Access and Functional Needs /Preparedness for Older Adults.

MEMA also will be participating in Twitter chats on preparedness issues in September. Please follow MEMA on Facebook and Twitter @MDMEMA.

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 MEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Weather Service or the American Red Cross.

MEMA 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. 

*** END ***

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

 


Heavy Rains, Flooding, Isolated Tornadoes May Impact Maryland

MEMA Encourages Marylanders to Prepare as Severe Weather is Expected from Remnants of Hurricane Ida beginning late Tuesday

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Reisterstown, Md. (August 31, 2021)  The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is advising Maryland residents to monitor weather forecasts as the remnants of Hurricane Ida are expected to impact the State beginning late Tuesday evening until Thursday morning.

According to the National Weather Service, Marylanders can expect:

  • Heavy Rain: There is the potential for significant amounts of rainfall that could lead to flash flooding and river flooding. The greatest threat is across western & north-central Maryland.
  • Winds: Gusty winds of 25-35 mph could lead to scattered instances of downed trees in soggy grounds, potentially causing power outages. Gale force winds under the stronger storms in the Chesapeake Bay, Tidal Potomac, and Atlantic Coast waters.
  • Tornadoes: Possible, with the possibility of some strong tornadoes. Risk is for most of central & eastern Maryland  Wednesday afternoon into Wednesday night.
  • Tidal Flooding: Minor tidal flooding likely, with moderate tidal flooding possible at more sensitive locations.

Residents are advised to:

  • Never drive through flooded roadways. Turn Around, Don’t Drown!
  • Heed all warnings and stay indoors during severe weather.
  • Closely monitor updated weather forecasts and be sure to have a way to access local forecasts and warnings.
  • Keep devices charged in case of power outages.
  • Let friends or family know of your travel route and expected arrival time.
  • Know who to contact in the case of a power outage. Emergency phone numbers for utility companies can be found here.
  • Follow MEMA and your regional National Weather Service (NWS) social media accounts for localized forecasts.

MEMA will continue to provide updates as they become available. 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, LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook for updated information.

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     CONTACT:  

Ed McDonough, ed.mcdonough@maryland.gov, 410.446.3333

Jorge E. Castillo, jorge.castillo@maryland.gov, 443.381.3518

Note to Press: MEMA Staff will be available for interviews during this incident.


MEMA Earns International Pandemic-Related Award 

IAEM Honors State for Development of Burn Rate Calculator for Pandemic Supplies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (August 13, 2021) — The International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) recently awarded the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) a global technology award for the agency’s innovative approach to resource management during the COVID-19 Pandemic. When availability and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) became an important consideration in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Maryland officials needed a way to find out how quickly the material was being used — also known as the burn rate.

The situation was unfolding rapidly and the State needed an accurate way to predict PPE burn rates according to case rate to determine how long the current supply would last, and a prediction on what would be needed. Federal officials also sought a reliable way to calculate the use of PPE in each state to develop an equitable distribution system for new supplies.

“Once again, our team at MEMA thought outside the box to come up with a quick solution to an urgent issue that cropped up in the early months of the pandemic,” said MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland. “I could not be more proud of our people for their creative thinking and agility, all while dealing with the most serious public health emergency we have faced.”

MEMA led a team of officials charged with implementing a burn rate modeling system to predict the state’s future PPE needs. This effort involved collaboration with hospital coalitions, universities, the private sector, and emergency managers. The process used composite modeling to produce a mean burn rate to project potential PPE needs.

Local-level sampling from end users on the front lines provided daily snapshots of actual use. Using that local sampling and extrapolating it across the state meant burn rate projections could be compared to the real-world snapshots. Using that method, MEMA created a tool to support several critical planning factors. You can see the Burn Rate Calculator manual at https://mema.maryland.gov/Documents/MEMA_COVID-19-Burn-Rate-Projection-Tool-Report.pdf

MEMA will accept this award later this year as part of the IAEM Annual Conference.

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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


MEMA Awards More Than $7.7 Million in Security Grants to Maryland Nonprofits

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Will Help 64 Organizations Prevent or Mitigate Effects of Attacks, Help Build Resilience

 

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (August 9, 2021) — The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has awarded more than $7.7 Million in federal homeland security grant funds to 64 nonprofit organizations around Maryland. The awards are funded by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 2021 Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP).

“Nonprofit groups are part of the fabric of American life and provide important services during times of need,” said MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland. “Unfortunately, we have seen that these groups sometimes are the target of violence, and these grants will help them prevent or minimize the consequences of those attacks.”

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 64 nonprofits around the state out of 106 applicants.

The NSGP provides $180 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 MEMA.

Awardees Award Amount
State Allotment
Atlantic General Hospital Corp $150,000.00
Banner School $150,000.00
Beth Israel Congregation $7,742.00
Chabad Lubavitch of Frederick $150,000.00
Holy Family Catholic Community of Middletown $150,000.00
Leonardtown Baptist Church $148,400.00
Mother Seton School $135,249.00
Redeeming Grace Baptist Church $123,093.00
Southern Calvert Baptist Church $150,000.00
St. Augustine Catholic Church $63,609.00
St. James Catholic Church $40,637.00
St. Joseph Catholic Church $150,000.00
St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Congregation (1) $150,000.00
St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Congregation (2) $150,000.00
St. Timothy’s Catholic Church $46,989.00
Tidal Health Peninsula $130,000.00
NSGP – S Total $1,895,719.00
Baltimore Urban Area Allotment
Ahavas Chaim Inc $149,625.00
Asbusy Broadneck Methodist Church $150,000.00
Associated Jewish Federation – Pearstone $149,998.00
Bais HaMedrash & Mesivta of Baltimore $105,000.00
Baltimore Hebrew Congregation $150,000.00
Baltimore-Washington Conference United Methodist Church $110,000.00
Beth Abraham $149,739.00
Beth AM In-Town Synagogue $43,400.00
Beth Israel $99,570.00
Beth Tfiloh $104,295.00
Beth Tfiloh Camp $29,500.00
Bais Yaakov Elementary School $150,000.00
Bais Yaakov Middle/High School $150,000.00
Bnos Yisroel of Baltimore $150,000.00
Cheder Chabad $149,807.00
Cheder Khal Chassidim $149,625.00
Chizuk Amuno Congregation/School $150,000.00
Greater Grace World Outreach Inc. $76,000.00
Harford Jewish Center $103,930.00
Hatzalah of Baltimore – Northern Campus $103,284.00
Hatzalah of Baltimore – Southern Campus $20,985.00
Islamic Society of Baltimore $150,000.00
Jewels School $149,872.00
Jewish Community Center of Baltimore $150,000.00
Jewish Museum of Maryland $126,000.00
Kneseth Israel Congregation $100,027.00
Mesivta Kesser Torah of Baltimore $150,000.00
Mikvah of Baltimore $87,360.00
Ohr Hamizrach $57,150.00
Ohr HaTorah $38,494.00
Planned Parenthood of Maryland $147,750.00
Planned Parenthood of Maryland $111,195.00
Rehoboth Church of God $147,168.00
Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Congregation $150,000.00
St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Congregation $95,960.00
School of the Incarnation $150,000.00
St. Philip Neri School, Inc. $150,000.00
Suburban Orthodox $150,000.00
Talmudical Academy of Baltimore $150,000.00
Talmudical Academy of Baltimore Camp $135,900.00
Temple Beth Sholom of AA County $129,316.00
Temple Isaiah $90,967.00
The Associated Jewish Community Federation $149,984.00
Tiferes Yisroel of Baltimore $150,000.00
Timonium Presbyterian Church $60,000.00
Trinity School, Inc $111,007.00
Trustees of Catholic Church of Baltimore $150,000.00
Yeshiva Toras Simcha $150,000.00
NSGP – UA Total $5,832,908.00
Grand Total $7,728,627.00

 

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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


MEMA Awards $4 Million to Fire, EMS, and Rescue Departments

Through Relief Fund Act of 2021, Federal Government, Maryland, Continue to Build Resilience

Fire Truck

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (July 14, 2021) — The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) announced awards of $4 million in federal funding made available through the Recovery for the Economy, Livelihoods, Industries, Entrepreneurs, and Families Act (RELIEF) of 2021. MEMA will distribute these funds to 181 volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue departments throughout the State of Maryland to assist with hardship relief from COVID-19.

With assistance from the Maryland State Firemen’s Association (MSFA), MEMA and the Maryland Military Department advertised the availability of the special funding to the volunteer fire and EMS service in each county throughout Maryland. The counties of Allegany (20 applicants), Baltimore (20 applicants), and Frederick (21 applicants) led the state in applications for RELIEF funding, and received ~$382,000, ~$390,000, and ~$654,000 respectively.

“This funding provides much needed financial support to the volunteer fire service for lost revenue as a result of COVID-19 during 2020,” said Russell Strickland, MEMA’s Executive Director.

Of the more than 350 volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue departments, 181 applied for support from the RELIEF Act of 2021. The Maryland General Assembly enacted the RELIEF Act of 2021 to provide needed relief to the volunteer fire service as a result of the loss of fund-raising revenue during the past year. “We are grateful to the Maryland General Assembly and Governor Larry Hogan for helping to make this funding a reality,” Strickland added.

The following is a list and breakdown of the Maryland volunteer fire and EMS departments that applied for and received funding provided pursuant to the RELIEF Fund Act of 2021:

Allegany Baltimore Pike VFD $8,209.66
20 Applications Barton Hose Co. $9,365.12
$382,034.88 Awarded    Bedford Road VFD $47,818.69
Borden Shaft VFC $24,925.79
Bowling Green VFD $22,146.55
Bowman’s Addition VFC $8,020.14
Cresaptown VFD $13,579.00
District 16 VFD $10,962.27
Ellerslie VFD $7,306.66
Flintstone VFC $18,262.13
George’s Creek Ambulance Services $2,600.00
Good Will Fire Co. No. 1 $9,840.96
LaVale VFD $29,267.05
LaVale Vol. Rescue Squad $63,759.20
Midland Fire Company $61,008.31
Mt. Savage VFC $7,419.06
Oldtown VFD $8,848.58
Orleans VFC $14,355.84
Potomac Fire Co $6,493.92
Rawlings VFD $7,845.95
Anne Arundel Cape St. Claire VFC $6,701.31
7 Applications Earleigh Heights VFC $141,891.37
$282,576.53 Awarded Eastport Vol Fire Co. $6,315.50
Ferndale VFC $5,364.80
Glen Burnie VFD $29,133.66
Odenton VFD $34,096.83
Rivera Beach VFC $59,073.06
Baltimore Arbutus VFD $34,976.11
20 Applications Box 234 Association $5,000.00
$389.529.31 Awarded Cockeysville VFC $11,735.36
English Consul Vol Fire Association $24,299.53
Essex VFC $11,033.42
Glyndon VFD $12,937.36
Hereford VFC $39,309.36
Kingsville Volunteers $5,591.39
Lansdowne Vol Fire Association $16,896.07
Liberty Road VFC $5,510.97
Long Green VFC $27,596.85
Lutherville VFC $7,943.85
Maryland Line VFC $23,868.53
Middle River Vol. Fire and Rescue $40,574.38
North Point Edgemere VFD $32,622.89
Owings Mills VFC $17,380.74
Pikesville VFC $7,845.95
Rosedale VFC $31,207.20
White Marsh VFC $13,793.99
Wise Avenue Vol Fire Co. $19,405.35
Calvert Huntingtown VFD $17,306.74
4 Applications North Beach VFD $58,219.28
$120,572.25 Awarded Prince Frederick VFD $12,511.66
St. Leonard VFD $32,534.57
Caroline Denton VFC $18,879.99
5 Applications Goldsboro VFC $30,084.00
$88,116.96 Awarded Greensboro VFC $11,621.92
Preston VFC $18,262.13
Ridgely VFD $9,268.93
Carroll Gamber & Community Fire Co. $15,943.49
8 Applications Hampstead Volunteer Fire & Hose Co. $9,175.86
$284,730.82 Awarded Manchester VFC $44,978.78
Mt. Airy VFC $9,268.93
New Windsor VFD $55,742.73
Pleasant Valley Community Fire Co. $79,034.59
Reese and Community VFD $65,586.45
Union Bridge Fire Company $5,000.00
Cecil Charlestown Fire Co. $5,677.48
2 Applications Community Fire Co. of Rising Sun $37,728.43
$43,405.91 Awarded
 
Charles Bryan’s Road $8,699.74
2 Applications Hughesville VFD $7,847.37
$16,547.11 Awarded
Dorchester Church Creek VFD $13,822.45
6 Applications Hoopers Island VFC $17,726.38
$74,071.99 Awarded Hurlock VFD $13,809.64
Lakes and Straits VFC $10,236.55
Neck District VFC $7,614.31
Vienna VFC $10,862.66
Frederick Brunswick VFC $26,275.19
21 Applications Brunswick Vol Ambulance and Rescue Inc. $20,072.60
$653,607.16 Awarded Carroll Manor VFD $47,756.85
East New Market VFC $24,040.97
Guardian Hose Co. $44,558.71
Independent Hose Co. $11,944.12
Jefferson VFC $11,155.08
Junior Fire Co. No. 2, Inc. $5,905.58
Libertytown VFD $25,981.97
Middletown VFC $39,858.39
Myersville VFC $24,608.60
New Market VFD $20,666.96
New Midway VFC $23,395.94
Rocky Ridge VFC $25,234.71
The Vigilant Hose Co. of Emmitsburg $107,551.84
Thurmont Community Ambulance Service $64,376.21
United Steam Fire Engine Co. $8,017.66
Urbana VFRC $36,305.46
Walkersville Vol. Fire Company $65,413.27
Walkersville VRC $13,254.11
Woodsboro VFC $7,232.93
Garrett Bittinger VFD $8,699.74
6 Applications Bloomington VFD $8,673.03
$63,013.07 Awarded Friendsville Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department $18,660.56
Kitzmiller VFC $10,691.90
Northern Garrett County Rescue Squad $6,876.62
Oakland VFD $9,411.22
Harford Abingdon VFC $13,269.48
10 Applications Darlington VFD $18,537.62
$178,701.65 Awarded Fallston Vol. Fire and Ambulance Co. $16,383.80
Havre de Grace Ambulance Corps. $5,569.19
Jarrettsville VFC $29,248.07
Joppa Magnolia VFC $40,939.80
Ladies Auxiliary to the Level VFC $6,327.81
Norrisville VFC $7,377.79
Susquehanna Hose Co. $24,051.16
Whiteford VFC $16,996.93
Howard Fifth District VFD $47,616.69
2 Applications Savage VFC $18,224.99
$65,841.68 Awarded
 
Kent Betterton VFC $6,599.10
5 Applications Chestertown VFC $7,605.19
$46,621.50 Awarded Community Fire Co. of Millington $13,167.88
Galena VFD $9,980.41
Kennedyville VFC $9,268.93
Montgomery Cabin John Park VFD $9,268.93
6 Applications Damascus VFD $39,720.60
$145,963.74 Awarded Kensington VFD $58,076.20
Laytonsville VFD $8,572.24
Upper Montgomery County VFD $22,607.90
Wheaton Vol Rescue Squad $7,717.88
Prince George’s Accokeek VFD $10,407.31
14 Applications Bladensburg VFDRS $28,962.05
$232,789.41 Awarded Branchville VFC $39,151.41
Brandywine VFD $13,699.22
Brentwood VFD $22,075.70
Clinton VFD $4,039.00
College Park VFD $6,138.38
Forestville VFD $4,200.00
Glenn Dale Fire Association $11,368.67
Greenbelt VFD $5,219.99
Laurel Volunteer Fire Rescue Squad $9,268.93
P.G. Volunteer Marine Fire Rescue, Inc. $10,382.26
Silver Hill VFD $42,851.14
West Lanham Hills VFD $25,025.34
Queen Anne’s Church Hill VFC $3,960.00
2 Applications Queen Anne-Hillsboro VFC $9,493.89
$13,453.89 Awarded
 
Somerset Crisfield Fire Department $6,565.27
4 Applications Deal Island – Chance VFC $4,100.00
$34,922.49 Awarded Fairmont VFD $9,580.98
Marion Fire Dept. $14,676.23
St. Mary’s Hollywood VFD $39,091.07
5 Applications Leonardtown VFD $9,553.52
$92,264.78 Awarded Mechanicsville VFD $6,949.68
Ridge VFD $33,120.50
Second District VFDRS $3,550.00
Talbot Easton VFD $22,445.07
5 Applications Oxford Fire Co. $28,386.03
$120,346.14 Awarded St. Michael’s Fire Dept. $24,067.87
Tilghman VFD $32,108.53
Trappe VFC $13,338.64
Washington Boonsboro Ambulance and Rescue Services $30,822.73
16 Applications First Hose Company of Boonsboro $15,814.61
$283,256.02 Awarded Clear Spring Ambulance Club $2,653.98
Clear Spring VFC $7,061.64
Community Fire Co. of District 12 $28,992.79
Community Rescue Services, Inc. of Hagerstown $3,700
First Hagerstown Hose Co. $15,216.21
Funkstown VFC $17,066.83
Hancock VFC $9,268.93
Leitersburg Vol. Fire Co. – Hagerstown $7,845.95
Maugansville Goodwill VFC $16,412.26
Mt. Aetna VFD $10,135.79
Potomac Valley Fire Co. $9,838.12
Sharpsburg VFC $14,197.48
Western Enterprise Fire Co. #4 $66,745.69
Williamsport Vol Fire and EMS, Inc. $27,483.01
Wicomico Delmar Fire Dept. $60,541.19
9 Applications Fruitland Fire Dept. $5,574.03
$366,173.97 Awarded Hebron VFD $114,828.65
Mardela Springs VFD $12,647.07
Pittsville FD $29,190.58
Powellville VFC $10,691.90
Sharptown VFD $104,608.27
West Side Fire Company $12,419.96
Willards VFC $15,672.32
Worcester Showell VFD $12,968.66
2 Applications Snow Hill Fire Co. $8,490.08
$21,458.74 Awarded

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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


2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season Starts on Heels of Record Year

Marylanders in Coastal, Tidal Areas Should “Know Your Zone”

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"

Reisterstown, Md. (June 1, 2021)  The 2021 Atlantic Hurricane season starts today, and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency reminds residents that while the  effects of the pandemic are beginning to wane, COVID-19 precautions should still be a part of their planning. Residents who live near the Atlantic Ocean, the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, and along the tidal Potomac, also should be familiar with the state’s Know Your Zone evacuation program.

The National Weather Service and other forecasters are predicting a busier than usual hurricane season this year on the heels of a 2020 season that saw a record-setting 30 named storms, 14 of which became hurricanes. Tropical Storm Isaias made landfall in Maryland, leading to a Presidential Disaster Declaration for the state and three counties.

“As we learned last year, it just takes one storm hitting your area to make a severe impact,” said Russ Strickland, MEMA executive director. “It is important to make preparations before the season starts, make sure COVID-19 precautions are considered in your family plan and be ready to follow the directions of local emergency officials.”

MEMA coordinated with other state agencies, local, and federal partners to update hurricane, and all natural hazards to ensure that the state is prepared for hurricane season. As with the 2020 hurricane season, planners identified shelters with less open space and more individual rooms, such as hotels and motels, apartments and rental properties to reduce the possible transmission of COVID-19, even as the effects of the pandemic are starting to ease.

Make sure your emergency kit continues to have COVID-19-related supplies, like extra face coverings, hand sanitizer and disinfectant. While mask and spacing mandates are being relaxed, you may be more comfortable having these supplies if you need to go to a shelter.

It also may be important to allow extra time to evacuate because shelters might be farther away. As always, you are better off locating shelter with family or friends outside the expected danger zone or stay at an accommodation of your choice.

Marylanders also 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.

Remember that even if you are not in one of the Maryland evacuation zones, you could still feel the effects of hurricanes and other hazards. Hurricanes can spawn flash floods, severe thunderstorms, and tornadoes many miles away from the eye of the storm and 100 miles or more inland.

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

  • 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.
  • 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, please visit MEMAFEMA, the National Weather Service and the American Red Cross.

For access to preparedness tips and information, install the MD Ready 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 (including COVID-19), text “MdReady” to 898-211.

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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


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