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Baltimore County News

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Keyword: emergency preparedness

Show airs on Cable Channel 25 and online

The latest edition of Baltimore County’s half-hour cable television public affairs show, “Hello Baltimore County,” reports on how the County is preparing for increased storm intensity and flooding potential, spotlights the good work of the Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools, and offers helpful flu prevention advice from the Health Department.

In Case You Missed It – Catch up on recent Baltimore County headlines.

Education Foundation of BCPS – Executive Director Debbie Phelps shares how you can help them support County schools.

Get the Shot, Not the Flu! – Follow this Health Department doctor’s advice to keep your family healthy this winter.

Floods Happen, Even Here! – County experts explain floodplains, flood insurance and how the County is preparing for rising sea levels.

You can also view the show on the County website’s Hello Baltimore County page at http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Videos/hellobaltimorecounty.html . Click on the menu icon in the upper left of the video screen to select an individual segment.

In addition to online access, the program runs several times per week on Cable Channel 25, in Baltimore County, at the following times:

Mondays: 1:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 10 p.m.

Tuesdays: 12 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 9 p.m.

Wednesdays: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 10 p.m.

Thursdays: 1 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 8 p.m.

Fridays: 11 a.m., 6 p.m.

Saturdays: 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m., 10:30 p.m.

Sundays: 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m., 10:30 p.m.


County Officials Remind Residents of the Importance of Being Prepared

On the anniversary of 9/11 and with the nation focused on two historic hurricanes, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and emergency management officials today highlighted local preparedness efforts, unveiled a renovated Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and summarized the County’s ongoing efforts to assist with response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

A press briefing, held in the EOC, featured Baltimore County Fire Department (BCoFD ) personnel recently returned from deployment with Maryland 1-DMAT (Disaster Medical Assistance Team), a U.S. Health and Human Services task force, to areas of Texas flooded following Hurricane Harvey.

In addition, Fire Chief Kyrle W. Preis III provided a summary of activities by BCoFD personnel deployed to Texas and now to Florida as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Pennsylvania Task Force #1, an Urban Search and Rescue team.

The number and placement of Baltimore County personnel on these various task forces has varied since August 28. Currently, five BCoPD are in Florida to assist with recovery from Hurricane Irma – one with DMAT and four with PAT1.

EOC upgrade

The Kamenetz administration recently invested in a comprehensive upgrade to the EOC, including a $152,000 technical upgrade featuring two video walls capable of displaying up to 16 different media sources.

EOC representatives have access to GIS information; a video telepresence to internal and external resources; access to Maryland Emergency Management Agency and Web EOC information; CCTV, including CHART and Baltimore County Police’s Aviation feed; and shared information from EOC command PCs. The upgrade also included new air conditioning, upgraded emergency power and new furniture.

“Working through a disaster is difficult under the best of circumstances,” Kamenetz said. “It’s critical that our personnel have modern facilities and reliable, state-of-the-art technology. Every citizen has an interest in this investment.”

Local Preparedness Efforts

Irma, one of strongest hurricanes ever recorded in the Atlantic basin, is unlikely to have a significant impact on our region. However, Irma and Harvey – two Category 4 hurricanes that struck the U.S. within weeks – are reminders of the need for every community in every state to prepare.

The County’s preparedness efforts began last week – when Irma’s track was uncertain – with equipment checks and outreach to mutual aid and private and non-profit partners to ensure that contact information and agreements are current. Training for first responders occurs constantly, and EOC representatives meet several times a year for exercises designed to refresh them on processes and procedures during an activation. EOC activations occur when an emergency requires a coordinated, multi-agency response.

StormReady Community Certification

Baltimore County’s preparedness includes certification by the National Weather Service as a “StormReady” jurisdiction. StormReady communities must establish a 24-hour warning points and emergency operations center; have multiple warning systems in place; establish weather monitoring systems; promote public readiness; and conduct emergency exercises.

With hurricane and tropical storm season still at its peak, now is the time for citizens to check home emergency kits and other preparedness needs including emergency contacts, family communication plans, plans for pets, medications and water. More information is available on the County’s website at www.baltimorecountymd.gov/emergency.


Encourages Residents and Businesses to Plan and Follow County Updates Online

On the first day of the Atlantic hurricane season, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and his top public safety officials gathered at the Bowleys Quarters Volunteer Fire Department to outline the County’s emergency preparedness and to remind residents and businesses to plan ahead in case of severe storms.

Kamenetz and his top public safety and public health professionals outlined the County’s year-round storm preparations. “We provide our first responders with the best equipment and training available and work together with neighboring jurisdictions,” said Kamenetz. “We are prepared and now is the time for residents and businesses to make sure they are prepared as well.”

County officials encouraged people to have an emergency plan and to prepare to get through three days without power and to stock up on water, non-perishable foods, flashlights, batteries and back-up sources for electronic devices like cell phones. They suggested that residents check to see if they need flood insurance and to prepare in advance for medical and prescription needs and for pet care. More information about storm preparedness can be found on the County website at baltimorecountymd.gov/emergency.

Real-time storm updates available on the County’s website and social media platforms

Kamenetz encouraged people to go to the County’s Emergency Management Twitter feed, @BACOemergency, for updates on storm response, sheltering operations and more.

In addition, the County’s new Stormfighter web page allows people to self-report storm-related issues. The system integrates with the County’s GIS mapping technology and provides real-time visual data to assist DPW and emergency managers in responding to severe storms or other localized or regional emergencies. Stormfighter now provides a link to live traffic camera feeds from the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Coordinated Highways Action Response Team (CHART). It also offers a link to the County’s list of road closures, which names  roads that are currently closed due to repairs, accidents, weather or other hazards. This list is updated frequently, so people are advised to check back often for the latest status. State roads and interstates are not included. Information on those roads can be found on the Maryland Department of Transportation’s travel advisories and road closures web page at http://www.chart.state.md.us/incidents/index.php.   

“We have flood-prone areas around the County, and it is very important for people to keep up with storm forecasts and connect online with our County emergency managers for storm response updates,” said County Council Chair Tom Quirk.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017