For immediate release:
January 21, 2016
Hannah Marr firstname.lastname@example.org
Shareese Churchill shareese.churchill@maryland.
Governor Hogan Announces Statewide Preparations in Anticipation of Snowstorm
State Agencies Directed To Launch a Coordinated Effort to Keep Marylanders Safe
ANNAPOLIS, MD – In advance and in preparation for the upcoming snowstorm, Governor Larry Hogan has directed state agencies to launch a coordinated effort to keep Marylanders safe and informed in the coming days. Earlier today and in anticipation of a potentially historic storm which could bring up to two feet of snow and blizzard-like conditions, the governor signed an Executive Order declaring a state of emergency in Maryland, beginning Friday, January 22 at 7 AM.
“Our state is taking every precaution – coordinating all available resources to prepare to clear roads, manage incidents, and then recover from this storm,” said Governor Hogan. “We urge all Marylanders to take action now to prepare, before this severe weather strikes, with the knowledge that our state will do everything it can to respond quickly, effectively and efficiently to this major storm event.”
Statewide preparations include the following:
Maryland Emergency Management Agency
- Working with the National Weather Service to ensure the state has the best and most up-to-date situational awareness.
- Coordinating resources with local officials to aid them in positioning assets necessary to manage incidents.
- Increasing staffing to appropriately handle resource requests from local communities.
Maryland State Police
- Reassigning troopers from investigative units, specialized units and Aviation Command to road patrol duties at all 23 barracks.
- Ensuring all 4-wheel drive vehicles in MSP fleet are available/assigned for patrol duties.
- Assigning troopers to local emergency operation centers in each county to ensure prompt assistance to local authorities.
- Making truck weighing scale house locations available for commercial truck parking during the storm.
- Working with MEMA, MDOT, SHA and all state agencies to coordinate response.
- Supporting state’s public information outreach efforts.
State Highway Administration
- SHA and the Maryland Transportation Authority have all staff and contract forces prepared to respond with a total of 2,700 pieces of equipment and 365,000 tons of salt.
- Pre-treating the major highways starting today through tomorrow before the snow starts.
- Pre-loading salt and staging plows – currently 98 salt domes across the state.
- There are currently 98 salt domes across the state.
- Outreach to truckers to remind them to use SHA’s truck parking app to direct them to parking where they can wait out the storm.
- Coordinating tow truck operators on standby for quick clearance.
Maryland National Guard
- Inspecting vehicles and armories to ensure readiness.
- Prepared to assist local law enforcement with transportation and evacuation; distribution of supplies, road clearing and snow removal; search and rescue; security/law enforcement airspace coordination; aircraft support and patient evacuations; airspace coordination; and sheltering assistance.
Department of Human Resources
- Prepared to support mass care and sheltering throughout the state; coordinating with groups such as the American Red Cross and other public, private, faith-based, and non-profit partners.
Health & Mental Hygiene
- Health and Mental Hygiene’s Office of Preparedness and Response will be monitoring developments and coordinating any needed emergency response.
- Providing assistance to residents to secure needed prescriptions; working with managed care organizations to help enrollees meet essential health appointments for services such as dialysis sessions.
- Partnering with Maryland counties’ health departments to safeguard the public health; links to Maryland’s local health departments can be found at http://goo.gl/ekhLNW.
- Via Preparedness and Response’s website, Marylanders can download cold weather tips at http://goo.gl/qNn8Xx, a home-care emergency preparedness guide at http://goo.gl/v9hfl8 and get updates at www.facebook.com/MarylandOPR.
Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives
- Coordinating donations and volunteers as they become available with partnering organizations.
- Along with the Department of Commerce and the Department of Human Resources, the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives will receive and distribute donations and coordinate volunteers from the business, faith-based, nonprofit, and philanthropic communities to help those Maryland residents affected by the storm.
BWI Marshall Airport
- The BWI Marshall Snow Team, which includes approximately 145 skilled and highly-trained employees that perform snow removal activities on runways and taxiways, are prepared and will be in place Friday.