Accomplishments for Core Goal #10 Planning
One of Governor O’Malley’s first acts as Governor was to retain renowned emergency management expert and former FEMA Director James Lee Witt to perform a top-to-bottom assessment of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and the State’s core emergency operations plan. Since the completion of this study in January 2008, the State has implemented a host of improvements recommended by Witt, including reestablishing the previously defunct planning division within MEMA. A follow-up report, completed in August 2010, found that MEMA has made significant improvements to its structure and organization to better serve and prepare State agencies and local municipal government. Maryland has also adopted the The Maryland Emergency Preparedness Program (MEPP) provides a framework for coordinating and organizing State emergency response plans and various other emergency plans into a continuous revision cycle known as the Maryland Preparedness System (MPS). MEMA has led new emergency-specific efforts to more pro-actively identify planning gaps and to collect and validate plans according to central principles such as continuity of operations planning during the recent H1N1 event. Following are key projects and accomplishments:
- Reinstated the Planning Department at the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and established the goal of becoming a Preparedness Center of Excellence. Prior to the O’Malley administration, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) had disbanded its planning department and downplayed its responsibilities for coordinating state-level emergency response planning. Following the recommendations of a comprehensive assessment by James Lee Witt and Associates in 2008, MEMA reinstated its planning department and has continued to make significant advances toward creating a more resilient and prepared Maryland. More recently, MEMA’s Adaptive Planning Branch has established a concrete foundation for the strengthening of existing emergency plans and generating of new plans to meet emerging hazards. This effort, known as the Preparedness Center of Excellence, establishes a continuous process for developing, evaluating, and refining the capabilities needed for a resilient and prepared Maryland.
- Developed an online electronic library of State and local emergency plans and procedures supporting 26 out of 26 jurisdictions in Maryland and made them available remotely for authorized individuals, thus streamlining and enhancing the information sharing process. MEMA’s eLibrary now includes various State and local emergency plans such as Hazard Mitigation Plans, Public School Emergency Plans, and Emergency Support Function (ESF) plans, all of which support State and local preparedness and response.
- Created Maryland’s first Mass Care Shelter Plan and developed the capacity to activate 11 mass care shelters for use in emergencies. In 2007, the State had no state shelter mass care plans, agreements, or supplies to which could augment the use of local shelter sites if a large-scale evacuation was need and local capacities were overwhelmed. In preparation for the 2009 inauguration, MEMA and the Department of Human Resources (DHR) developed a State Mass Care Shelter Plan and identified a series of large capacity shelters that could be operated by the State if a large-scale evacuation was needed and local capabilities became overwhelmed. Today the State has agreements with eleven facilities that will operate as state shelter sites during an emergency incident or evacuation.
- Developed a dynamic evacuation planning tool with real-time traffic data to enhance evacuation planning around Baltimore City and the District of Columbia. The Maryland State Highway Administration, in partnership with the University of Maryland, College Park, has developed a network of traffic sensors and camera monitors that capture data on traffic flow around the National Capital Region (NCR) and Baltimore City. Access to this real-time data allows SHA to make constant changes to evacuation plans for both regions. SHA and the University are also developing an evacuation modeling tool that will include models of vehicle-pedestrian conflicts, special pedestrian movement signals, and transit routing and schedules.
- Successfully evacuated and sheltered approximately 2,200 international student workers during Hurricane Irene in the first real-world test of the State’s sheltering capabilities. Each summer, thousands of international students spend their time on the eastern shore working at hotels and resorts. In August of 2011, the State activated an evacuation of these students by deploying MTA buses even before a mandatory evacuation was issued for Ocean City. For three nights, several thousand of the students were fed and housed by volunteers and State personnel in Baltimore County and Baltimore City until they were transported back to Ocean City after the hurricane had passed. This process would not have been successful if it hadn’t been for the identification of this issue months prior to the hurricane resulting in extensive planning and exercising as well as educating the students.
- Partnered with an internationally recognized design firm to redesign the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC). In 2012, MEMA approved a redesign plan of the SEOC submitted by IDEO, an internationally recognized design firm that has consulted on the design of projects ranging from consumer goods to high-level government facilities. The goal of the project is to revitalize one of the State’s most critical facilities using state of the art technology and lessons learned from best in class facilities both within and outside the field of emergency operations. The plans were based on interviews with MEMA, participation in the Peach Bottom Nuclear Power Plant Exercise, and site visits to Emergency Operation Centers in New York City, Fairfax, VA, Washington, DC, and NASA’s Johnson Flight Center in Houston, TX.
- 3/19/12 - New Video on Homeland Security Goal
- 9/11/11 - Statement from Governor Martin O’Malley on the 10th Anniversary of the September 11th Attacks
- 9/9/11 - A More Resilient Maryland: 12 Core Capacities for Homeland Security
- 9/1/11 - Governor O'Malley Tours Maryland Transit Administration Police Monitoring Facility
- 8/30/11 - Statement from Governor Martin O’Malley on Current Status of Power Outages
- Maryland's Strategic Goals & Objectives for Homeland Security
- Community Resilience Task Force Final Report (2011)
- Countering Violent Extremism (2010)
- James Lee Witt Report on Emergency Management and Homeland Security in Maryland - Phase I
- James Lee Witt Report on Emergency Management and Homeland Security in Maryland - Phase II
- Maryland Maritime Strategic Security Plan