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.
Jorge Castillo, email@example.com, 443-381-3518
Ed McDonough, firstname.lastname@example.org, 410-446-3333
24/7 line: 877-636-2872
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 ***
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
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 ***
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.
Ed McDonough, email@example.com, 410.446.3333
Jorge E. Castillo, firstname.lastname@example.org, 443.381.3518
Note to Press: MEMA Staff will be available for interviews during this incident.
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.
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.
|Atlantic General Hospital Corp||$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 AM In-Town Synagogue||$43,400.00|
|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 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|
|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|
|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|
|Talmudical Academy of Baltimore||$150,000.00|
|Talmudical Academy of Baltimore Camp||$135,900.00|
|Temple Beth Sholom of AA County||$129,316.00|
|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|
Through Relief Fund Act of 2021, Federal Government, Maryland, Continue to Build Resilience
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|
|District 16 VFD||$10,962.27|
|George’s Creek Ambulance Services||$2,600.00|
|Good Will Fire Co. No. 1||$9,840.96|
|LaVale Vol. Rescue Squad||$63,759.20|
|Midland Fire Company||$61,008.31|
|Mt. Savage VFC||$7,419.06|
|Potomac Fire Co||$6,493.92|
|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|
|Glen Burnie VFD||$29,133.66|
|Rivera Beach VFC||$59,073.06|
|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|
|Lansdowne Vol Fire Association||$16,896.07|
|Liberty Road VFC||$5,510.97|
|Long Green VFC||$27,596.85|
|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|
|White Marsh VFC||$13,793.99|
|Wise Avenue Vol Fire Co.||$19,405.35|
|4 Applications||North Beach VFD||$58,219.28|
|$120,572.25 Awarded||Prince Frederick VFD||$12,511.66|
|St. Leonard VFD||$32,534.57|
|5 Applications||Goldsboro VFC||$30,084.00|
|$88,116.96 Awarded||Greensboro VFC||$11,621.92|
|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|
|2 Applications||Hughesville VFD||$7,847.37|
|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|
|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|
|Junior Fire Co. No. 2, Inc.||$5,905.58|
|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|
|Walkersville Vol. Fire Company||$65,413.27|
|6 Applications||Bloomington VFD||$8,673.03|
|$63,013.07 Awarded||Friendsville Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department||$18,660.56|
|Northern Garrett County Rescue Squad||$6,876.62|
|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|
|Joppa Magnolia VFC||$40,939.80|
|Ladies Auxiliary to the Level VFC||$6,327.81|
|Susquehanna Hose Co.||$24,051.16|
|Howard||Fifth District VFD||$47,616.69|
|2 Applications||Savage VFC||$18,224.99|
|5 Applications||Chestertown VFC||$7,605.19|
|$46,621.50 Awarded||Community Fire Co. of Millington||$13,167.88|
|Montgomery||Cabin John Park VFD||$9,268.93|
|6 Applications||Damascus VFD||$39,720.60|
|$145,963.74 Awarded||Kensington VFD||$58,076.20|
|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|
|College Park VFD||$6,138.38|
|Glenn Dale Fire Association||$11,368.67|
|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|
|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|
|Second District VFDRS||$3,550.00|
|5 Applications||Oxford Fire Co.||$28,386.03|
|$120,346.14 Awarded||St. Michael’s Fire Dept.||$24,067.87|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|West Side Fire Company||$12,419.96|
|2 Applications||Snow Hill Fire Co.||$8,490.08|
Marylanders in Coastal, Tidal Areas Should “Know Your Zone”
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 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.
New MDReady WebApp Will Debut as MEMA, National Weather Service Focus on Spring Storm Hazard Preparation, Urge Marylanders to Practice Tornado Drill
REISTERSTOWN, MD (April 6, 2021) — Maryland residents are invited to practice what to do in a tornado as part of Severe Storms Awareness Week, April 5-9, 2021. The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) also is launching a new mobile website application during the week. The MdReady WebApp replaces the existing Maryland Prepares App and provides instant access to a wide array of emergency notifications and preparedness information to Marylanders and visitors alike. To install the new WebApp, users can visit MdReady.maryland.gov and follow the prompt to easily add the MdReady shortcut to their mobile device’s home screen.
Severe Storms Awareness Week is taking place during the month of April, which Governor Hogan has proclaimed as Maryland’s Flood Awareness Month. During Severe Storms Awareness Week in Maryland, MEMA will devote special days to cover information about flooding, damaging winds, tornadoes, hail and lightning.
On Wednesday, April 7, Marylanders are invited by MEMA and the National Weather Service (NWS) to practice what to do in the event of a tornado. Because people’s routines have been changed due to the ongoing pandemic, people are asked to review their emergency weather plans and ensure they consider the implications of COVID-19.
“The pandemic has not only changed the daily routine for many of us, but it also has changed how we prepare for emergencies,” said MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland. “Severe Storms Awareness Week is not only a chance to review what we need to do to prepare for spring weather hazards, but also to highlight that COVID-19 is now part of our preparations.”
As part of pandemic precautions, Marylanders should include additional supplies like extra face coverings, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant in their emergency supply kits. It’s also important to remember that if evacuations and shelters are needed that distancing and other public health precautions may alter what facilities are used and how far away they might be away from one’s home.
“The majority of Maryland’s weather-related damage comes from thunderstorms and tornadoes,” said James E. Lee, Meteorologist in Charge of the NWS Baltimore/Washington Weather Forecast Office (WFO). “The NWS Baltimore/Washington WFO typically identifies hazardous weather threats minutes in advance, then immediately issues severe weather warnings. It is vital that Marylanders receive our warnings and rapidly respond to get out of harm’s way. Maryland Severe Storms Awareness Week reminds people to develop a response plan, then practice the plan during the tornado drill.”
While Marylanders are encouraged to practice a tornado drill at any time that day the NWS will issue a Special Weather Statement on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radios about the tornado drill at 9:45 a.m. April 7 — but without the high-pitched tones associated with an actual tornado warning. The NWS Baltimore/Washington Weather Forecast Office, which covers most Maryland jurisdictions is coordinating this statement and drill in conjunction with their colleagues at NWS Mount Holly (PA), which covers Caroline, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties, and NWS Wakefield (VA) which handles Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties.
To find more preparedness information for severe storms and other hazards, please visit the following websites: https://mema.maryland.gov/Pages/types-of-emergencies.aspx, https://www.weather.gov/safety/, or www.ready.gov.
REISTERSTOWN, Md. (April 1, 2021) — Governor Larry Hogan, today, proclaimed the first Maryland Flood Awareness Month. Maryland Flood Awareness Month will run from April 1 to April 30, 2021. Every year, floods in Maryland kill more residents and destroy more property than any other natural hazard.
The frequency and intensity of storms are expected to increase over time. Recent predictions suggest that flooding in normally dry areas is likely in the future. This could mean deeper flooding, floods moving further inland, and more damage from storms. This is not only a potential danger for coastal Maryland but for all communities in Maryland.
The Hogan Administration is joining with the Maryland Department of the Environment, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, the Maryland Insurance Administration, the Maryland Department of Planning, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Maryland Department of Transportation, the Maryland Environmental Service, the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, and the Maryland Association of Floodplain and Stormwater Managers to encourage all Marylanders to learn more about the different flood hazards faced by individuals and communities across the state.
“Our Administration is dedicated to working with our state, local and federal partners to assist Marylanders to become aware of their risk and take steps to protect themselves from the risk,” said Governor Larry Hogan.
Maryland Flood Awareness Month will raise awareness about the many flood hazards faced by individuals and communities across the state and provide information on what Marylanders can do to protect themselves, their property and possessions, their finances, and communities. The Maryland Resiliency Partnership will work with a variety of public and private partners to help educate the public around three key messages as they relate to different flood hazards: know your risk, reduce your risk, insure your risk.
Throughout the month of April, information and activities will focus on these three key messages as they relate to each week’s theme:
- Individuals preparing for the impacts of flooding;
- Riverine flooding and flooding outside the regulatory floodplain;
- Coastal hazards (storm surge, nuisance flooding, sea level rise, erosion, subsidence, and flooding outside the regulatory floodplain);
- Urban and flash flooding, dam break, and flooding outside the regulatory floodplain; and
- Communities preparing for the impacts of flooding.
During the month of April, these agencies will be sharing information on their social media platforms; hosting virtual events to engage in conversations about flooding; and providing digital resources on the Maryland Resiliency Partnership website.