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Date: Jan 22, 2019

Emergency Management officials this afternoon will conduct an exercise designed to refine the County's preparedness for winter storm emergencies.

The exercise will be held in the Emergency Operations Center and will include representatives from Public Works, Fire, Health & Human Services, Police, Aging and other relevant agencies. It asks EOC representatives to respond to a hypothetical scenario involving a serious snow/ice event.

The EOC activates for major emergencies involving a coordinated, multi-agency response.

A briefing for media representatives is scheduled at 2 p.m. Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski and top emergency management, public safety, public works and public health officials works will provide an overview of current, agency-specific preparedness issues.

"Our top priority during weather emergencies is the safety of our residents and visitors,” County Executive Olszewski said. “Training is part of preparation for events that will affect our county, sooner or later. We are committed to helping the County get back to business quickly and efficiently. We must do everything we can to ensure roads are passable as soon as possible; we recognize how important it is to minimize time lost at school and at work."

Winter Storm Emergencies

In the Baltimore region, winter storm emergencies requiring EOC activation typically involve significant amounts of snow and/or ice. Concerns include power outages and difficulty or inability to clear roads.

"With this exercise, we've designed an especially challenging, worst-case scenario involving power outages, building collapses and logistical problems responding to the needs of vulnerable people," said Jay Ringgold, Director of the Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management. "We want every agency to prepare for the unexpected and for unusual obstacles."

Emergency Management officials will use this opportunity to remind every Baltimore County household and business of the importance of personal emergency preparedness, including looking after vulnerable relatives and neighbors.

Following national protocols, Emergency Management recommends that everyone prepare to get through three days without power. Preparation should include:

  • Having flashlights and batteries on hand
  • Charging electronic devices and obtaining a battery-powered radio to receive information during extended emergencies
  • Stocking up on water, non-perishable foods, medicines, infant supplies and pet supplies

Fire and Emergency Management officials remind residents who use generators as an alternate source of power to place them a safe distance from the home to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Staying Informed

Information about weather emergencies, including snow removal, is shared on Twitter @BaltCoEmergency. Please follow us. 

For residents who choose not to use Twitter, all @BaltCoEmergency posts are shared on our "Stormfighter" web resource. Storm-related concerns and complaints may be submitted on the "Stormfighter" site.

Update: January 23, 2:45 p.m.:

Baltimore County Police have identified the man found dead Monday by firefighters as they were conducting salvage operations following a small house fire in Catonsville. 

He is Francisco J. Cabezas, 34. His last known address is in the Gaithersburg area.

Original release:

The body of a man was found last night in the attic area of a house in Catonsville following a small dwelling fire.

The victim has not yet been identified by Baltimore County Police fire investigators, whose investigation is ongoing. The victim was found by Baltimore County firefighters as they conducted ovehaul following the one-alarm fire.

Fire crews were dispatched to the 400 block of Commonwealth Ave., 21228, at 6:59 p.m. First-arriving crews saw smoke coming from the gables. Crews knocked the fire at 7:07 p.m.

Investigators said the house appeared to be vacant and the victim was living in the attic space, using a fire to keep warm.

An autopsy by the Office of the State Medical Examiner is pending.

Revised June 27, 2017