State Agencies Directed to Launch a Coordinated Effort to Keep Marylanders Safe
ANNAPOLIS, MD – In advance and in preparation for Winter Storm Jonas, Governor Larry Hogan has directed state agencies to launch a coordinated effort to keep Marylanders safe and informed in the coming days. Yesterday, the governor signed an Executive Order declaring a state of emergency in Maryland, which began today at 7 AM.
Additionally, Governor Hogan signed another Executive Order today, which allows for extended deliveries of commodities related to winter weather relief, such as petroleum products, propane, food, water, medical supplies, generators, restoration of electricity, and snow and debris removal equipment. This morning, Governor Hogan joined Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn and State Highway Administrator Greg Johnson at the State Highway Administration District 5 facility in Annapolis to assess the state's snow removal equipment and procedures.
The Maryland Unites hotline, 1-888-756-7836, is available for public inquiries into Department of Human Resources services including emergency shelter information and other human service needs during the storm.
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
- The Maryland State Police and Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration announced that snow emergency plans went into effect at noon.
- The Statewide Snow Emergency plan requires vehicles traveling on all highways, which are designated as snow emergency routes be equipped with chains, snow tires or all season radials. Additionally, special hauling permits for commercial vehicles are not valid during snow emergencies. The snow emergency plan also allows the Maryland State Police to call tow companies to remove abandoned vehicles in the road or on the shoulder and restricts all parking on designated snow emergency routes.
- 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.
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.
- 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
- As of 7 AM this morning, National Guard is activated and prepared to respond.
- 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
- The MDUnites hotline, 1-888-756-7836, is available for inquiries relating to Department of Human Resources services including emergency shelter information and other human service needs during the storm.
- Prepared to support mass care and sheltering throughout the state; coordinating through the State Shelter Task Force and the State Feeding Task Force, which include multiple state agencies, faith-based, and non-profit partners, to provide necessary resources for citizens.
- DHR has the following State Shelters available for this event:
- University of Maryland, Baltimore County beginning at 2 PM on January 22
- Coppin State University, Baltimore City beginning at 2 PM on January 22
- Coordinating directly with the Manager of Airline Operations at BWI airport to assist any travelers who may require sheltering.
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 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.
Maryland Transit Administration
- On Friday, all services, including local and commuter buses, light rail, and Metro subway, will suspend at 11 PM, or earlier depending on the weather, through the rest of the weekend. MTA will be monitoring the situation in the event conditions deteriorate prior to 11 PM.
Public Service Commission
- All utilities have been notifying customers and public officials of possible effects of severe weather. Incident control centers are being activated, call centers augmented and checked and overhead circuits patrolled.
- Both BGE and PEPCO utilities have presence at MEMA.
- BGE – 100 linemen and 250 tree personnel; 600 additional personnel arrive today from affiliate utilities (mostly from Illinois) and other utilities from out of state and another 40 arriving later in the weekend.
- PEPCO – 150 linemen, 200 tree personnel and 250 contractors available; will be supplemented by another 150 contractors and 135 mutual assistance personnel from South Carolina and New England.
- Delmarva – 225 linemen, 165 tree personnel and 120 contractors available.
- Potomac Edison – 100 linemen and 110 tree personnel available; has also brought in crews from Ohio that are amassing on Pennsylvania and West Virginia in case additional assistance is necessary.
- SMECO – 125 internal personnel being supplemented by another 90 linemen and 75 tree personnel.
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.
- Widespread airline flight cancellations are anticipated this weekend. Citizens are encouraged to check with airlines for updated flight information.
Maryland Insurance Administration
- Encouraging citizens to read their insurance policy to see what’s covered and excluded.
- Working with insurance companies on the procedures they need to follow to activate temporary moratoriums based on the State of Emergency.
- Notifying health insurers on the requirement waive restrictions on renewal of refills on prescription medication.
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
- At 11 PM, Friday, the Metrorail system will close and will remain closed all day Saturday and Sunday.
- Bus service will be suspended system-wide at 5 PM, Friday.
- Bus service will remain suspended on Saturday and Sunday.
- MetroAccess paratransit service for customers with disabilities will be suspended Friday after 6 PM.
- MetroAccess service will remain suspended on Saturday and Sunday.