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What does a “State of Emergency” mean?

What does a “State of Emergency” mean?

In preparation for Hurricane Florence, Governor Larry Hogan has asked State agencies to launch a coordinated effort to keep Marylanders safe and informed in the upcoming days. Governor Hogan signed an Executive Order declaring a state of emergency in Maryland on Monday, September 10, 2018 at 3:30 p.m. EST.  Here is information on what a state of emergency means.

Not all states of emergency are the same. Each state of emergency is different and can change depending on the severity of the event or emergency.  Be sure to check with your local news and with MEMA for updated information related to states of emergency.

A state of emergency has been declared in order to allow Maryland to coordinate and request emergency resources and support. A state of emergency allows the Governor to access certain resources, like the National Guard, in order to increase the State’s response.

A state of emergency is a good indicator that residents should remain alert and follow officials’ orders, news stations, and weather forecasts in order to be informed of the situation.

Here is additional information about this state of emergency:

Will schools be closed?

States of Emergencies typically do not mandate school closures. It usually is the local school district’s decision to stay open or to close. Check with your school for up-to-date closure information.

Will stores and businesses be open?

This state of emergency does not require employers to close. We ask that all employers consider employee safety at all times.

Can I drive on the roads?

Most of the time, motorists are not prohibited from driving. However, this depends on the situation and the limitations set in each particular State of Emergency. Each State of Emergency is different.  If you are a motorist and must drive and cannot change your plans, you should drive carefully and use common sense. You should also:

  • Allow extra time to get to your  destinations.
  • Let family or/and friends know what roads you plan to take and expected arrival times.
  • Contact family/friends after you arrive to your destination.

What you need to know about Hurricane Florence:

  • Preparing for this weather event now is key.
  • We are tracking this storm moment-by-moment, and we won’t know the exact direction it will take until it makes landfall, but we must ensure we are prepared for all possible impacts to our state.
  • As of 11:00 a.m.Monday, September 10, 2018, we are anticipating that the biggest threat to lives and property from this storm will be life-threatening flooding due to torrential rains, and tidal flooding/storm surge.
  • The earliest we can expect tropical storm force winds is Thursday evening, particularly in southern and southwestern Maryland.
  • Weather forecasters have alerted us that there is the potential for life-threatening conditions, including catastrophic flooding as well as high winds and dangerous conditions in our waterways.

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