(DELMARVA NEWS NOW) — From the Maryland Emergency Management Agency’s Reisterstown headquarters, Governor Larry Hogan has announced the implementation of a new statewide initiative aimed at increasing public awareness of winter hazards.
The Governor says Maryland Winter Safety Week runs from December 2nd to the 9th and is focused on encouraging Marylanders to learn more about winter safety and the importance of emergency preparedness. According to the Maryland Department of Health, there have been 208 cold weather related deaths in the state since the 2013-2014 winter season. That includes 54 cold weather related deaths just last year. 30 percent of those deaths occurred in Baltimore City.
Among the most important safety tips being stressed during Winter Safety Week is checking on the welfare of family, friends and neighbors, especially those most vulnerable. Officials also advise that you create a home preparedness kit including snow shovels, ice melting products, warm clothing and blankets, flashlights and batteries. They also advise that you follow a trusted weather source such as the National Weather Service to remain aware of impending severe winter weather.
“If history is any guide, It’s likely that our state will experience some severe winter weather 0ver the next few months.” said MEMA Executive Director Russell Strickland. He said it is paramount that residents make preparations and “be informed and be prepared.” The awareness week is a joint initiative of MEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Weather Service, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration, the Maryland Department of Health, Maryland State Police and other local and state allied agencies.