Maryland Agencies Stand Ready to Support States Affected by Hurricane Irma - Southern Maryland Headline News

Maryland Agencies Stand Ready to Support States Affected by Hurricane Irma

State Resources Available to Assist in Emergency Management and Recovery Efforts

ANNAPOLIS (Sept. 08, 2017)—Governor Larry Hogan today announced Maryland's coordinated efforts to support areas in the southeastern United States that will be impacted by Hurricane Irma in the coming days. State agencies have rapidly assessed and readied resources and personnel to send to other states when requested.

"Thankfully, Maryland appears to be out of harm's way from the worst impacts of Hurricane Irma, however there are millions of people in our region and surrounding states in the path of this deadly storm," said Governor Hogan. "As always, Maryland stands ready to support our friends and neighbors. We are prepared to provide any and all resources needed in the wake of Irma, as well as continued help for those recovering from Hurricane Harvey."

The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) continues to monitor this system and any requests for assistance, as well as prepare for any potential hazards Maryland may experience.

"The most intense threats from Hurricane Irma are not predicted to hit Maryland at this time," said MEMA Executive Director Russell Strickland. "MEMA continues to monitor requests for assistance in areas that expect to be impacted by Irma or are recovering from Harvey. We are actively working with our state and local partners to coordinate resource support available throughout the Maryland emergency management system."

The following State agencies are available to support states affected by Hurricane Irma:

Maryland Emergency Management Agency

• MEMA has staff ready to support local and state emergency operations centers in affected areas and teams available to conduct damage assessments and recovery operations.

Maryland Military Department

• The Maryland Military Department is able to deploy a Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team (HART) and search and rescue utility helicopters, aircraft and personnel.

Maryland State Police

• The resources of the Maryland State Police Special Operations Division are on stand-by to assist if requested to respond. Those resources include the Maryland State Police Underwater Recovery Team of divers and a rescue boat; trained search and rescue personnel; tactical paramedics, and a Mobile Field Force Team of troopers for law enforcement support.

Maryland State Fire Marshal

• Maryland State Fire Marshal would be able to provide boats, drone, investigation unit personnel, fire protection engineers, and additional first response personnel.

Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems

• MIEMSS has identified Advanced Life Support (ALS) Ambulance Strike Teams (AST) ready to assist. Each team has 5 ambulances and a leader with support/response vehicle, each unit staffed for 24/7 operations. MIEMSS has a staffed Medical Ambulance Bus with a supervisor and has personnel with vehicles to lead and support deployed Maryland EMS resources.

Governor's Office of Homeland Security

• The Governor's Office of Homeland Security has alerted all personnel to be available for staffing requests consistent with weather forecasts, response planning or actual occurrences.

• Homeland Security has proactively contacted counterparts in forecasted affected States offering assistance.

• Homeland Security personnel remain available to assist storm affected jurisdictions with personnel consistent with availability and type.

Maryland Department of Aging

• The Maryland Department of Aging has spoken with the Director of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs to offer our support and stands ready with Aging expert personnel to assist however possible. This includes providing training to shelter staff about older adults and assisting in relocating older adults back to their homes. The expertise available includes Certificated Information and Referral Specialists with Maryland Access Point, and Long-Term Care Ombudsmen services for individuals who live in long-term care facilities.

• The Eldercare Locator (1-800-677-1116 or eldercare.gov) serves as a resource for older adults and long distance caregivers.

Maryland Department of Agriculture

• MDA is prepared to respond to requests to assist with intake of companion animals at pet-friendly shelters in an affected state.

• MDA is prepared to respond to requests to assist with animals in distress.

Maryland Department of Commerce

• The Maryland Department of Commerce is able to assist other states affected by Hurricane Irma by identifying hotel and motel vacancies in Maryland to accommodate those seeking temporary housing.

• The department will conduct economic impact analysis by identifying companies in affected areas and the number of affected people and employees.

Maryland Department of Disabilities

• The Department of Disabilities is prepared to support response and recovery operations in impacted states in the following ways:

• Technical assistance and support for assistive technology

• Evaluate documents and websites for conformance to universal design and accessibility to assistive technology.

• Train emergency managers on the essential nature of information accessibility, and how to create social media that is accessible to all viewers.

• Assist public information/media officers, as requested, to remediate documents and social media messages for universal accessibility.

• Advise senior leadership and policy teams on emerging issues that impact people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.

• Examine planning documents to ensure inclusion of the whole community.

• Identify and resolve issues that affect individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.

• Guidance to ensure that response, sheltering, and recovery policies affecting people with disabilities are consistent and appropriate.

• Provide resource referral and information.

• The department's partner organizations have inventories of DME such as wheelchairs, walkers, etc. available for short term loan in the event equipment is destroyed.

Maryland Department of Education

• Provide support and guidance to Local School Systems and families for the immediate enrollment of displaced students into Maryland Public Schools. The enrollment of students would need to be expedited with or without transcripts, student records, any specialized documentation of services including Special Education, etc.

• Work with the school systems regarding immunization requirements and temporary admission/retention. The MSDE would facilitate communication with the Maryland Department of Health.

• Provide support and guidance to student services personnel (Directors of Student Services, school counselors, nurses, psychologists, social workers, pupil personnel workers, etc.)

• Address the needs of students who are in crisis and who are experiencing trauma as a result of the displacement by collaborating with community partners, other Maryland State agencies, and school systems

• Coordinate with appropriate offices to meet the needs of English Learners, migrant and homeless students

• Coordinate the collection of school supplies for students who are displaced

• Work with transportation in order to transport students to schools

• Collaborate with non-public schools as needed

• Post information on the front page of MSDE's website to provide assistance and guidance to families regarding enrollment and resources

Maryland Department of the Environment

• Environment has HazMat response teams and inspectors with various expertise related to emergency and disaster response and recovery.

Maryland Department of Health

• The Health Department's Office of Preparedness & Response also coordinates the Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps, in which thousands of volunteers could be deployed in the event of a public health emergency.

• The Office of Preparedness & Response also has worked with State partner agencies such as Department of Human Services, the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency to review procedures for accepting potential evacuees from storm zones.

Maryland Department of Human Services

• The Maryland Department of Human Services has human service, mass care, sheltering, and recovery workers prepared to deploy to affected states.

• Human Services has communicated with facilities and staff in case it was necessary to open disaster shelters and coordinated planning with the Red Cross.

Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation

• Following the storm, the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation will offer unemployment and workforce resources and services to U.S. residents affected by Hurricane Irma, to include assistance with the intake of unemployment claims.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources

• The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has trailer-able boats and experienced operators, if needed. Our coastal resiliency and restoration teams have already been in contact with our sister states to discuss shoreline rebuilding and reconstruction. We have a team of water quality experts on hand to assist with monitoring and sampling post-storm.

• Natural Resources Police has equipment, officers and supervisors available to assist affected states and communities. They can help with boat deployments, mission control support, search and recovery/rescue missions and security.

Maryland Department of Information Technology

• Information Technology is capable of providing the following services to other states in the form of staff augmentation, hardware, and technical assistance in the following IT technical domains:

• GIS Services and Professionals (mapping and analyzing data, mapping disaster areas, this can be done from Maryland)Networking LAN/WAN Support (running cables, setting networks up in temporary facilities)

• Server and Storage (temporary use of of back end systems)

• End User Computing/Desktop Support (staff augmentation)

• IT helpdesk call center

• Disaster Recovery Management Assist in DR failover and Reconstitution

• Web applications and content management

• Mainframe COBOL Programmers

• Mainframe zOS and DB2 support

• Radio Technicians

• 57 Handheld Radios P25 Motorola Radios

Maryland Department of Planning

• Staff of the Maryland Historical Trust is available to assist State Historic Preservation Offices in the affected region by carrying out damage assessments and analysis of historic and cultural resources in communities affected by Hurricane Irma to determine the extent of damage and prioritize recovery operations. The Maryland Historical Trust is also available to provide guidance on repair, rehabilitation, and protection of historic and cultural resources as requested.

Maryland Department of Transportation

• The Maryland Department of Transportation would be available to assist by providing equipment and personnel in the following areas:

• Equipment and personnel for light debris removal, particularly along and adjacent to highways and roadways

• Technicians to assist with signal light repair

• Bridge Inspectors to ensure bridges and overpasses are not damaged by the storm or flooding conditions

• The Maryland Transit Administration is prepared to deploy assets from its police force in order to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

Maryland Insurance Administration

• As a member of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the Maryland Insurance Administration has a team of trained insurance professionals available to provide help and support with insurance issues to sister state insurance departments that might be impacted by the storms.

Maryland Public Service Commission

• The Maryland Public Service Commission continues to coordinate with the Maryland electric companies on their storm preparation efforts. All of the major Maryland electric companies continue to monitor the storm and are prepared for any potential impacts. They are also participating in regular calls regarding the provision of mutual assistance to areas impacted by Irma once the Maryland threat from Irma has subsided.

Maryland State Department of Assessment and Taxation

• If property is damaged by the storm, residents may qualify to have their property assessments reduced. Once it is safe to do so, SDAT assessors will distribute applications to affected areas encouraging residents to apply, and will also perform on-site inspections.

• If a storm occurs and residents qualify to have their property assessments reduced, SDAT will coordinate with local governments to ensure any corrected tax bills or refunds are issued in a timely manner.

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