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Maryland Emergency Management Agency


Snow, Ice, Freezing Rain, Frigid Temperatures to Affect Maryland this Weekend

MEMA is Monitoring Storm, Closely Coordinating with State Agencies, National Weather Service

Click here to listen to audio of this release.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (January 18, 2019) — Winter weather is expected to affect the Mid-Atlantic and New England region beginning tomorrow, Saturday January 19, 2019.  According to the National Weather Service, here is what Maryland residents can expect:

  • The system will bring a mix of snow, ice, and freezing rain to most of our State.
  • Expect snow, sleet, and freezing rain accumulation which will make traveling conditions dangerous, with a couple of inches of snow and ice accumulation for the western and central portion of the State.
  • Winds will affect the state this weekend with gusts up to 30-40 mph.
  • Plan for potential power outages and flying debris.
  • On Sunday night, temperatures will dip into the dangerously low single digits.

“The forecast and track of the storm can change at any time, and that could potentially mean worsening weather and hazards for residents in parts of our State,” said Russ Strickland, MEMA’s Executive Director. “Plan for power outages and prepare your family accordingly.
Make sure you monitor the weather forecast, heed all official warnings, and pay attention to state and local emergency management and transportation officials.”

As the storm moves out of the region, a mass of frigid air will be moving in and bringing dangerously cold temperatures. With peak gusts around 40 mph, the expected wind chill will also make conditions hazardous making it feel well below zero degrees Fahrenheit throughout Maryland.

Extreme cold weather can lead to serious health issues.The Maryland Department of Health’s Office of Preparedness and Response has an array of helpful information about extreme cold weather and how to protect yourself and your family here: https://preparedness.health.maryland.gov/Pages/resources_cold.aspx

MEMA advises Maryland residents to take the following actions:

  • Closely monitor updated weather forecasts and keep electronic communications devices charged.
  • Plan for power outages and prepare accordingly.
  • Know who to contact in the case of a power outage. Emergency phone numbers for utility companies can be found here.
  • Never run generators indoors, in closed areas, or near vents.
  • Check on your elderly neighbors during and after the storm.
  • If you must travel, make sure to have car chargers, kitty litter or sand for traction, blankets, extra winter clothes including hats and gloves, snacks, and water in case you become stranded.
  • Let friends or family know of your travel route and expected arrival time.
  • Be cautious shoveling snow or ice to avoid overexertion. Take frequent breaks and keep hydrated.
  • Dress in several layers when venturing outside in the extreme cold.  Frostbite and Hypothermia can set in in minutes.

MEMA is closely monitoring the storm and will continue coordinating efforts with local emergency management officials and state agencies.

In addition to these tips, please check out this winter preparedness tip video (bit.ly/Winter-Preparedness-Tips) on MEMA’s YouTube Channel.

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.

 

 

###

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.

 

 


Winter Storm Warnings Expanded for Most of Maryland

MEMA Increases State Activation Level to Coordinate State Agencies

Click here to listen to audio of this release.

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (January 12, 2019) — The first significant statewide winter weather event of 2019 will be affecting Maryland later today through Sunday. According to the National Weather Service, here is what we can expect:

  • Snow is expected tonight through Sunday night.
  • Significant accumulations are expected statewide.
  • Wind Gusts: 20-25 mph Eastern Shore on Sunday (less than 20 mph elsewhere).
  • Temperatures will be near freezing except in the mid-30s in Southern Maryland and Eastern Shore during the afternoon & the 20s at night.

The National Weather Service has extended Winter Storm Warnings, which are currently in place for most of the state. Counties under a Winter Storm Warning include Allegany, Anne Arundel, Calvert, Carroll, Charles, Dorchester, Frederick, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, St. Mary’s, Somerset, Washington and Wicomico.  Baltimore City is also under a Winter Storm Warning. Counties under a Winter Weather Advisory include Baltimore, Caroline, Cecil, Garrett, Harford, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot, and Worcester.

“The incoming winter storm will bring accumulating snow to our entire state,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “I have directed all state agencies to work together to prepare for this storm and keep our citizens safe and informed. Now we ask all Marylanders to remain vigilant, use common sense, stay off the roads, and heed all official warnings.”

The amount of accumulating snow forecasted has increased since yesterday in several parts of the state, particularly southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore. Areas like La Plata may see 8-12 inches of snow, while Salisbury could see 6-8 inches before the system moves out of the region.

“The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) advises all residents to follow weather forecasts as they are updated and pay attention to state and local emergency management and transportation officials,” said Russ Strickland, MEMA’s Executive Director. “Above all, please put safety first and communicate with your neighbors, family, and friends.”

MEMA continues to closely monitor the storm and continues coordinating efforts with local emergency management officials and state agencies.

MEMA advises Maryland residents to take the following actions:

  • Closely monitor updated weather forecasts and keep electronic communications devices charged.
  • Never run generators indoors, in closed areas, or near vents.
  • Check on your elderly neighbors during and after the storm.
  • If you must travel, make sure to have car chargers, kitty litter or sand for traction, blankets, extra winter clothes including hats and gloves, snacks, and water in case you become stranded.
  • Let friends or family know of your travel route and expected arrival time.
  • Be cautious shoveling snow or ice to avoid overexertion. Take frequent breaks and keep hydrated.
  • Know who to contact in the case of a power outage. Emergency phone numbers for utility companies can be found here.

In addition to these tips, please check out this winter preparedness tip video (bit.ly/Winter-Preparedness-Tips) on MEMA’s YouTube Channel.

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 TwitterLinkedInYouTube and Facebook for updated information.


First Winter Storm of 2019 Could Bring Accumulating Snow

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEMA Continues to Monitor Situation, Advises Residents to be Vigilant and Take Appropriate Actions to Stay Safe

Click here to listen to audio of this release.

 

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (January 11, 2019) — An incoming winter storm will likely bring accumulating snow to most of Maryland beginning this Saturday. The National Weather Service has issued winter storm watches for several counties in Maryland and expects to issue winter storm advisories and warnings as the storm gets closer.

“With the potential for our first statewide winter weather event of 2019, I ask all Marylanders to put safety first by staying off the roads during the storm, following your local weather forecasts, and heeding all warnings,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Our state agencies and employees are working diligently in preparation for the storm to keep our roads passable, but for a large portion of the state, the potential of accumulating snow is a real concern. As we prepare for this winter weather, I urge all Marylanders to use common sense and take all necessary precautions.”

Snow is expected to begin falling Saturday afternoon for most of our state and continue into Sunday with some areas in Maryland readying to see 3 to 6 inches of accumulating snow. Less snow is predicted to affect the western portions of the Eastern Shore of Maryland but the accumulation forecast for Maryland could change as the storm gets closer. The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) advises all residents to follow weather forecasts as they are updated and pay attention to your local emergency management officials, the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA), and the MD Department of Transportation (MDOT). In addition to snow, the majority of the State will see temperatures around the freezing mark during the event with lows on Sunday in the mid-20s.

“MEMA is closely monitoring the storm and is coordinating preparedness efforts with local emergency management officials and state agencies,” said Russ Strickland, MEMA’s Executive Director. “Residents in different areas of Maryland may feel different effects from this weather system, so stay vigilant and monitor the storm through its duration,” he concluded. It is possible that lingering effects of the storm and below freezing temperatures will affect Monday morning’s commute and may cause school closings or delays.

MEMA advises Maryland residents to take the following actions:

  • Closely monitor updated weather forecasts and keep electronic communications devices charged.

  • Never run generators indoors, in closed areas, or near vents.

  • Check on your elderly neighbors during and after the storm.

  • If you must travel, make sure to have car chargers, kitty litter or sand for traction, blankets, extra winter clothes including hats and gloves, snacks, and water in case you become stranded.

  • Let friends or family know of your travel route and expected arrival time.

  • Be cautious shoveling snow or ice to avoid overexertion. Take frequent breaks and keep hydrated.

  • Know who to contact in the case of a power outage. Emergency phone numbers for utility companies can be found here.


In addition to these tips, please check out this winter preparedness tip video (bit.ly/Winter-Preparedness-Tips) on our YouTube Channel.

 

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.

###

CONTACT:

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

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

 


Winter Fire Safety Tips

FIRE SAFETY

DURING THE WINTER MONTHS

REMINDER

 

          STATEWIDE SAFETY RELEASE (January 11, 2019) — AS OF TODAY, THERE HAVE BEEN SIX FIRE FATALITIES ACROSS THE STATE.    The MAJORITY of those fatalities DID NOT HAVE WORKING SMOKE ALARMS in their homes.   If you cannot afford a smoke alarm PLEASE contact your local fire department to inquire as to what assistance is available in your area.

           State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci reminds all residents of Maryland to check for fire safety where they live, work, attend classes, training and meetings.  “Fire and life safety is everyone’s responsibility; by testing smoke alarms and CO detectors, keeping exits clear of obstructions, and maintaining fire alarms and fire sprinkler systems, we can all avoid injury or death from the effects of fire.”

          To ensure your best chances of surviving a fire, the State Fire Marshal offers the following tips on both escaping a fire and preventing one:

Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are working properly. Remember, the effects of toxic smoke and gases can quickly overcome your ability to think clearly.  Every second counts when escaping a fire.  Also check the dates on your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, if they are 10 years old or older, they should be replaced.

Check exits in both your home and any place you go to ensure you will be able to get to safety.  Blocked exits resulting from improperly placed chairs, tables or even holiday decorations can result in the delay of getting out quickly and safely.  Be vigilant of these safety concerns whether at church, school or your local favorite eatery.  Ensure snow is removed from the outside of doors as well.

When using portable non-vented fuel-fired heaters, such as kerosene heaters, make sure to use only the recommended fuel specified in the owner’s manual and NEVER use gasoline.  Note: Portable kerosene heaters are banned for use in Baltimore City.

If you find it necessary to use an electric space heater, use only one that has been approved by an authorized testing laboratory such as UL.  Plug space heaters directly into an outlet.  NEVER use an extension cord or power strip as they can easily overheat and cause a fire.

Keep all portable space heaters at least three feet away from anything combustible.

If heating equipment fails, do not use kitchen stoves or ovens to supply heat.  These   appliances are not designed for that purpose and the chance of a fire improves greatly.

When using fireplaces, wood stoves or pellet stoves; please ensure these heat sources have been installed and properly serviced by trained technicians according to state and local codes,  allowing them to work at peak efficiency and lower the risk of a catastrophic failure.  Place ashes in a metal container with a lid.

Please ensure you have the chimney cleaned and inspected before use.

Never leave candles burning unattended.  Extinguish the flame before leaving the room. Consider battery operated candles instead of flaming candles for safety.

If a fire occurs inside your home, close the doors behind you as you vacate to the outside, call 911 and never go back inside the home.  Tell arriving first responders if anyone is still inside.


NR - Winter FIre Safety
NR - Winter and Holiday Fire Safety


chimney

Have Chimneys Properly Cleaned.


NR - Winter Fire Safety


The Office of the State Fire Marshal is an agency of the Department of State Police dedicated to helping protect citizens from fire and explosion through a comprehensive program of education, inspection, investigation and fire protection engineering.  For more information on fire safety call 1-800-525-3124, log onto our website at: Maryland State Fire Marshal and/or our Facebook Page.


FirstNet – MEMA Spotlight

In May 2018, Washington County was impacted by significant flooding in the southern part of the county. With low bandwidth Wi-Fi and the location of the command post nestled in a valley between two mountains, communication and data transfer served as a great challenge. Washington County Sheriff Doug Mullendore coordinated with FirstNet to keep emergency responders connected by calling in the Satellite Cell on Light Truck (SatCOLT). FEMA, MEMA, local emergency responders, and county employees all utilized the connection offered by FirstNet…

<<Download and Read the Full Article: FirstNet – MEMA Spotlight (PDF)


Heavy rains expected across Maryland

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FLASH FLOOD WATCHES ISSUED

ACROSS MUCH OF MARYLAND

Road sign telling drivers to Turn Around, Don't Drown

Follow local forecasts, use caution while traveling 

REISTERSTOWN, MD (December 20, 2018) – More heavy rain is expected over much of Maryland during the next two days as the wettest year on record continues. The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for all of the state except extreme Western Maryland and parts of the lower Eastern Shore.

“The rain has been relentless this year and late December appears to be no exception,” said Maryland Emergency Management Agency Executive Director Russ Strickland. “Even as we prepare for the upcoming holidays, take some time to follow local weather forecasts and remember to use common sense when travelling.”

Because of heavy rains last week, many streams and rivers are running high and the ground is close to saturated, so flooding is possible. The National Weather Service is predicting one to two inches of rain across most of the state, with isolated pockets of three inches or more. As of now, the flood watches are in effect until late Friday night or early Saturday morning.

Additionally, the National Weather Service predicts the rain could change to snow later Friday or early Saturday in extreme Western Maryland, with accumulating snow possible. If you plan to travel through those areas, please check local forecasts closely and delay travel if road conditions deteriorate.

Remember to never drive through standing water and never drive around barriers set up to block water-covered roads. Turn Around, Don’t Drown.

For more flood preparedness information, please visit www.mema.maryland.gov or www.ready.gov. For current weather forecast information, visit www.Weather.gov.


FEMA, State Continue Building Resiliency in Maryland

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

From left to right: Russ Strickland, MaryAnn Tierney, Brock Long, Pete LandonREISTERSTOWN, Md. (November 30, 2018) — The State of Maryland and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) understand the importance of risk reduction and vulnerability identification before a disaster strikes. On November 29 – 30, 2018, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), FEMA, the United States Department of Energy, and the National Governors Association met with Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s Executive Council at the Maryland Resilience Retreat. These partners came together to build an interdisciplinary understanding of resilience and identify how Maryland’s state agencies can leverage programs and relationships to reduce statewide risk and advance resilience.

“Our administration recognizes the importance of preparedness in the event of an emergency,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “The Maryland Resilience Retreat is an opportunity to both learn and share best practices and knowledge surrounding effective emergency management. Being prepared is a shared responsibility, and Maryland will continue to embrace our leadership role as a national model for resiliency and security.”

Emergency managers want Americans to understand that emergencies can happen at any time with little to no warning. Major events like hurricanes arrive with advance notice, and they bring along the potential for devastating effects. Conversely, flooding events, the most common disaster across the United States, can happen with no warning.

“Across Maryland, we have seen the impacts of disasters on our communities,” stated Russ Strickland, Executive Director of MEMA. “Every incident is different and affects communities to varying extents. We want Marylanders and State officials to understand the risks of natural and human-caused disasters and to take steps to reduce those risks. This knowledge will help shape a resilient Maryland where communities thrive.”

MEMA hosts information on individual preparedness, such as the Know Your Zone hurricane preparedness and evacuation awareness campaign, and all-hazard stakeholder-specific learning resources, at their website at mema.maryland.gov.

Recent emergencies, such as the California wildfires and recent hurricane seasons, highlight the importance of building a culture of preparedness throughout the Nation. FEMA Administrator Brock Long, FEMA Region III Regional Administrator MaryAnn Tierney, and MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland also met at MEMA to discuss resiliency in the State and the long-term recovery efforts of Maryland communities impacted by disasters.

“Maryland’s communities are developing their culture of preparedness thanks to MEMA’s efforts and Maryland’s recognition that we must engage with the whole community to instill a true culture of preparedness,” stated MaryAnn Tierney, FEMA Region III Regional Administrator. “It starts with individuals – do you have insurance coverage or a plan for how you’ll recover? Do you know what you’ll do in an emergency? That expands to businesses, non-profits, and beyond. A true culture of preparedness starts at the bottom and works its way up.” This collaboration includes FEMA’s continuing support and engagement with the State in recovering from May 2018 flooding events across multiple Maryland jurisdictions.

There are a wide variety of resources to help individuals, businesses, voluntary and non-profit organizations, and communities to prepare:

  • www.Ready.gov – FEMA’s website for  preparedness information.
  • mema.maryland.gov – MEMA’s website has a variety of resources to help Marylanders prepare for potential emergencies.
  • www.Ready.gov/community-emergency-response-team – The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a great way for communities and motivated individuals to work together to prepare and protect their communities.
  • www.Ready.gov/youth-preparedness – Young people are impacted by disasters, but they can also be empowered to help their families and communities in disasters. Learn more!
  • www.Floodsmart.gov – Did you know 98% of counties across the U.S. have flooded, or that just 1 inch of water can cause up to $25,000 in damages? Flood insurance provides the best protection against flooding and is available to anyone.

MEMA and FEMA continue to work together to help communities across Maryland prepare for potential disasters, whether they are personal emergencies, a flooding event across county lines, or a major hurricane. It takes all of us to prepare for these events and build a culture of preparedness across the State and the Nation. Developing resiliency and preparedness strategies now can make a tremendous difference in our ability to respond to future disasters.

For more information on MEMA, please visit mema.maryland.gov. For more information on FEMA, please visit www.fema.gov. For more information on FEMA Region III, which covers the State of Maryland, please visit www.fema.gov/region-iii-dc-de-md-pa-va-wv.

FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters. FEMA Region III’s jurisdiction includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. Stay informed of FEMA’s activities online: videos and podcasts are available at fema.gov/medialibrary and youtube.com/fema. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/femaregion3.


With Winter Approaching, Thanksgiving is the Right Time to Prepare for Snow Storms and Cold Weather

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Winter Safety Preparedness TipsThe Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Offers Winter Preparedness Tips for this Holiday Season

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (November 21, 2018) — With Thanksgiving preparations happening now, the arrival of the holiday season is the right time to make sure you are prepared for winter weather.

“As we enter the busy holiday season and areas across our state are more likely to experience winter weather, I urge all Marylanders to put safety first,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “By planning ahead and following local forecasts and warnings, we can all have a safe and enjoyable time with family and friends.”

No matter what part of the state you live in, the winter season brings the potential for cold weather and slippery roads and sidewalks. Simple steps such as making a family communications plan and winterizing your family’s emergency supply kit can increase preparedness throughout the holiday season.

“We already experienced a winter storm for most parts of Maryland last week,” said MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland. “History shows us that most of the state will experience some bad weather over the next few months. Our message is simple: Make preparations now so you can avoid the last minute rush for snow shovels, salt, and other winter essentials.”

MEMA has gathered a number of winter preparedness and safety tips that will be shared throughout the season through our social media channels. Here are some of the highlights:

  • When cold weather hits, you should check on the welfare of family, friends, and neighbors who are particularly vulnerable to cold, snow, and ice – this may include the elderly and those with access and functional needs.
  • Make sure your vehicle is ready for winter travel and that you have prepared your pets for bad weather.
  • Check and winterize your vehicle, including all fluids, wiper blades, lights, and systems before the winter season begins.
  • Have a car emergency kit in your vehicle.
  • Follow a trusted weather source, such as the National Weather Service and local news media, to be aware of any predicted frozen precipitation or severe cold temperatures.
  • Sign up for Emergency Alerts in your area and determine how you will receive information if you are traveling out of town.
  • Visit Ready.gov/alerts for more information on emergency alert options.
  • Build a home preparedness kit that includes winter supplies such as snow shovels, ice melting products, extra warm clothes and blankets, flashlights, and batteries.
  • Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
  • Leave the heat on in your home and set the thermostat to no lower than 50° Fahrenheit If you will be going away during cold weather.
  • Keep your gas tank near full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
  • ID your pet with up-to-date name tags and rabies tags; include your cell phone number on the tag
  • Practice safe cooking behaviors since cooking is the biggest cause of home fires and fire injuries.
  • Consider using battery-operated flameless candles. They look and smell real! Learn more about candle fire safety from the U.S. Fire Administration at www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/holiday.htm

In addition to these tips, MEMA please check out this winter preparedness tip video(bit.ly/Winter-Preparedness-Tips) on our YouTube Channel.  Additional information about winter preparedness can be found on our website (www.mema.maryland.gov), our Twitter feed, our Facebook page, our LinkedIn page and our YouTube site.


SBA Opens Disaster Loan Outreach Center

SBA Disaster Loan Applications

Center to Open Tomorrow, Thursday October 24, at 9:00 a.m. for residents affected by flooding August 31 – September 1, 2018.

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (October 24, 2018) – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced today the opening of a SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC) at the Harford County Department of Emergency
Services.  The center will open tomorrow, Thursday, October 25, at 9:00 a.m.

SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center staff will be able to assist those residents in the Maryland counties of Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil and Harford impacted by the flooding that occurred from August 31 to September 1, 2018.

SBA representatives at the DLOC can provide information about disaster loans, answer questions, and assist in completing the SBA application. The Center is located at:

2220 Ady Road

Forest Hill, MD 21050

 

and will be open as follows:

Thursday, Oct. 25:    9 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 26:         9 a.m. – 6:00 p.m

Saturday, Oct. 27:    10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 29:      9 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

 

Those affected by the flooding may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov. 

Businesses and individuals may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of- hearing), or by emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Loan applications can also be downloaded at https://www.sba.gov/Completed applications should be returned to the center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road. Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is December 17, 2018. The
deadline to return economic injury applications is July 18, 2019.

About the U.S. Small Business Administration:
The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.


Governor Larry Hogan Proclaims Maryland Safe Schools Week

Focus on School Safety Issues October 21-27 Raises Awareness, Encourages Student Engagement

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (October 24, 2018) – Governor Larry Hogan has signed an official proclamation designating October 21–27 as Maryland Safe Schools Week. The week is designed to raise awareness of school safety issues and initiatives at the local and state level.

“The safety and security of all Marylanders is our most important responsibility,” said Governor Hogan. “We encourage everyone to do their part and remain vigilant in protecting our kids and ensuring Maryland schools are places where students can learn free from threats of crime and violence. I urge students, parents, teachers, and community members to report any concerns about potential threats including substance abuse, gangs, bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, hate, and vandalism.”

During Maryland Safe Schools Week, Marylanders are encouraged to unite with school staff and their community and create a “family-like” culture at school advocating the power to stop bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, conflict, hate and violence while spreading empathy, compassion, and respect.

Earlier this month, Governor Hogan announced “Safe Schools Maryland,” a tip line and mobile app designed to streamline reporting of possible threats to students school facilities. Students, family members, parents, teachers, administrators, and other community members can anonymously report information to Safe Schools Maryland via a mobile app available for download through the Apple App Store or Google Play, online at www.SafeSchoolsMD.org, or by calling 1-833-MD-B-SAFE (1-833-632-7233). Trained Maryland Joint Operations Center (MJOC) personnel will respond to reports 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

“‘The ‘Safe Schools Maryland’ app and tip line is an instrumental step in ensuring our children and our schools are protected, but it is not the only answer,” said Ed Clarke, Executive Director of the Maryland Center for School Safety. “Striving to solve the safety issues our schools face is a mission that involves all community members.  It may require saying something to a school administrator, counselor,  teacher, school resource officer or a trusted adult when something seems out of place or as easy as leaving a tip on the tip line app.”

The governor recently announced $10.6 million in funding available for local school systems to enhance school safety through training, safety assessments, information sharing, and more. The grants will flow through the Safe Schools Fund, which was created as part of the Maryland Safe to Learn Act of 2018, which Governor Hogan signed into law on April 10. The legislation includes key Hogan administration proposals, such as increased funding for the Maryland Center for School Safety, the creation of aggressive statewide standards for school safety and requirements for the standardized training and certification for all school resource officers. The remaining funds include $23.5 million to help schools improve the physical safety of school facilities and $2.5 million to conduct safety evaluations required by the legislation.

In addition to Maryland Safe Schools Week, it is also National School Bus Safety Week. The Maryland State Department of Education reminds everyone that school bus transportation plays a critical role in the education of Maryland students. It is a link between community and classroom. Bus safety tips to keep your child safe include:

  • Have your children put everything they carry in a backpack or school bag so that they won’t drop things along the way.
  • Arrive at the bus stop before it is due, ideally at least five minutes early.
  • Walk young children to the bus stop or encourage children to walk in groups. There is safety in numbers; groups are easier for drivers to see.
  • Practice good pedestrian behavior: walk on the sidewalk, and if there is no sidewalk stay out of the street. If you must walk in the street, walk single file, face traffic and stay as close to the edge of the road as you can.
  • Stop and look left, right and then left again if you must cross the street. Do the same thing at driveways and alleys. Exaggerate your head turns and narrate your actions so your child knows you are looking left, right and left.

During this week, the Maryland Center for School Safety and the Maryland State Department of Education will be sending out safety tips and information. You can follow the Maryland Center for School Safety on Facebook or onTwitter at @SafeSchoolsMD. The Maryland State Department of Education also will be sending out information. They can be found on Facebook and Twitter at @MDPublicSchools.

Maryland Safe Schools Week Proclamation


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