PHILADELPHIA – 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.