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FEMA, State Continue Building Resiliency in Maryland

Fri, 11/30/2018 - 15:16

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

REISTERSTOWN, 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

Thu, 11/22/2018 - 08:24

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The 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.