ANNAPOLIS, MD — Governor Wes Moore signed Executive Order 01.01.2023.13 today, initiating a state of emergency in Maryland effective Friday, September 22, 2023, to brace for the anticipated impacts of Tropical Storm Ophelia. The executive action enables the Maryland Department of Emergency Management (MDEM) and relevant state agencies to mobilize resources and initiate emergency plans in collaboration with local governments.

The state of emergency is designed to streamline coordinating and deploying crucial emergency resources and assistance. This move is part of proactive steps to bolster the state’s preparedness and response capabilities for the expected severe weather, including strong winds, heavy rainfall, and elevated tides.

“We are asking all Marylanders to remain vigilant, to stay tuned to local news stations for the latest updates, and to follow any instructions local officials may provide during this state of emergency,” Gov. Moore stated. “If you can avoid driving or being out during the storm, please do so. We expect an extended period of strong winds, heavy rainfall, and elevated tides.”

MDEM has escalated the State Activation Level to ENHANCED as of noon today and plans to elevate it to PARTIAL at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow. The heightened activation levels indicate increased readiness and advise residents to receive multiple means of emergency alerts.

Residents are urged to stay alert and follow guidance from officials and news outlets for real-time updates on the evolving situation. The declaration also positions Maryland to request and receive assistance from other states through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. This multistate agreement is the foundation for the nation’s mutual aid system during emergencies.

To stay informed, residents can sign up for alerts about the state of emergency and other threats affecting Maryland by texting MdReady to 211-631. For Spanish-speaking residents, text MdListo to the same number.

Governor Moore emphasized the administration’s commitment to ensuring the safety of Marylanders throughout the impending storm and its aftermath. “Our administration is committed to doing all we can to ensure Marylanders remain safe during this incident and will be working closely with local jurisdictions to recover after the storm,” he added.

As Marylanders prepare for the tropical storm, the state of emergency serves as a reminder to remain vigilant, exercise caution, and heed official advice in the coming days. With preparations underway, the state is poised to provide the necessary support and resources to local jurisdictions and its residents, aiming to mitigate the impact of Tropical Storm Ophelia as much as possible.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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