Local Emergency Management officials today conducted a winter storm preparedness exercise for agency representatives to Baltimore County's Emergency Operations Center. 

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

This exercise asked EOC representatives from Fire, Police, Public Works and other agencies to respond to a hypothetical scenario involving a serious ice storm. Concerns include power outages and difficulty or inability to clear roads.

"Our top priority during weather emergencies is the safety of our residents and visitors,” County Executive Olszewski said. “Our second priority is helping the County get back to business as quickly as possible. We understand how important this is to people, following severe snow and ice storms, to minimize time lost at school and at work.”

New Online Plowing Status Tool

During a press briefing at the exercise, County Executive Olszewski and Department of Public Works officials unveiled a new online tool that lets residents monitor snow plowing efforts during snow events. This “Snow Route Status Map” will provide a color-coded, near real-time status report on plowing activity on all of the County’s 164 snow plow routes.

“This new tool is another critical step toward increasing government transparency,” Olszewski said. “It will improve residents’ experience during significant snow events by helping people better understand where our crews are working.”

During significant snow events, residents are eager for street plowing information. The new Snow Route Status Map gives residents more direct, immediate access to the latest information regarding the salting and plowing of specific snow routes.

The status of each route is identified as follows:

  • Red. Salting and plowing have not started.
  • Yellow. Salting and Plowing is in progress.
  • Green. Operations are complete.
  • Gray. County slating and plowing unavailable. 

Data for this new tool is provided by DPW crews, who send progress reports to supervisors. Plowing times vary by snowfall event.

Staying Informed

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

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.

Information about weather-related closing information is available at https://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/weather/index.html

Personal Preparedness

Following national protocols, Emergency Management recommends that every household 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.