Category Archives: Preparedness

Governor O’Malley Issues Statement on President Obama’s Proposal to Reduce Carbon Dioxide Pollution

ANNAPOLIS, MD (June 2, 2014) Governor O’Malley today released the following statement in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement of a proposed rule to reduce carbon dioxide pollution from existing power plants:

“Climate change is transforming the world in profound ways that continue to evolve. We still have time to become great ancestors, and we have a moral obligation to our children and our grandchildren to act now while we can make a difference.

“I congratulate and thank President Obama for his bold leadership. Today’s announcement is the first federal regulatory action to set carbon pollution standards for existing fossil fuel-fired power plants, the largest single source of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“Maryland is among the nation’s most vulnerable states to the effects of sea level rise from climate change, and we are taking strong action to reduce carbon pollution. Three of our 16 strategic goals bear on this directly, our goals:to reduce Maryland’s greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2020to increase Maryland’s in-state renewable generation to 20% by 2022; and to reduce energy consumption in Maryland 15% by 2015.

“Maryland regulates carbon emissions from power plants through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a partnership with eight other East Coast states. RGGI is a key component of Maryland’s Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and we are pleased to see the federal proposal recognize the value of a regional approach.

“We are already witnessing a transformation in the U.S. economy to increased production of lower carbon energy through fuel switching to natural gas and expansion of wind, solar, geothermal, and other renewable non-carbon intensive energy sources. The President’s proposal will: (1) help us continue to expand our use of renewable sources of energy and reduce harmful air pollution responsible for increased risk of heart and lung disease; (2) give us greater energy security; (3) make important strides in improving public health; and (4) unleash the power of our innovative green economy.

“We must preserve our planet and grow our economy simultaneously. We cannot become more prosperous without the living systems upon which our prosperity depends.”

Click here for more information on Maryland’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Source: Maryland Department of the Environment, June 2, 2014

The 2014 Annual Sustainability Town Hall—A Success!!

Make a plan. Build a kit. Help each other.

That’s what Baltimore residents did on April 22, 2014 at the Annual Sustainability Town Hall. Mayor Rawlings-Blake welcomed the event’s attendees, which included residents from all over the City, as well as City Council members and key partners who are helping Baltimore be more resilient.

Mayor Rawlings-Blake addresses attendees at the Annual Sustainability Town Hall
Mayor Rawlings-Blake addresses attendees at the Annual Sustainability Town Hall

As attendees arrived at the Humanim American Brewery Building in East Baltimore, they were asked to describe their level of preparedness before heading upstairs to enjoy some delicious food while participating in a number of activities.

arrows

Attendees were guided by green arrows on the floor. They first learned about some of the hazards which threaten the City of Baltimore, and attendees were then given assistance as they filled out their own FAMILY EMERGENCY PLAN (visit the Get Prepared pages of this website to download a PDF of the plan template!).

Community with Bags

With their family emergency plan filled in, attendees proceeded to stuff a bag full of free items for their EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS KIT; supplies included flashlights and batteries, crank-powered radios, fans, face masks, waste baggies, can openers, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, a SAFE/NEED HELP WINDOW SIGN (see the Get Prepared pages of this site!), and more!

flood_assistance

With their plans and their kits, attendees could walk around the floor to learn about how City partners are helping Baltimore become more resilient, and about what Baltimore’s residents can do to HELP EACH OTHER. When all that was done, attendees could browse the 2013 Annual Sustainability Report, get on film talking about their experiences with hazards, and contribute a post-it to the sustainability and resiliency wall!

Post-its2 Post-its

Children who attended were invited to participate in some fun activities in the “Kids Zone”—including food art, planting seeds, coloring in hazards drawings, a disaster supply memory match game, and a fun round of Pin the Gear on the Turtle. 

What turtle, you ask?

At the Town Hall, the Baltimore Office of Sustainability had the pleasure of introducing residents to Baltimore’s new turtle friend, a champion of resiliency and sustainability!

Mascot

If you couldn’t join us for the April 22nd event, you can read about it in this Baltimore Sun article on the Annual Sustainability Town Hall! Or, if you’re interested in hosting a similar event in your own neighborhood, check out the Make a Plan. Build a Kit. Help Each Other—Small Neighborhood Meetings page to learn more!

Check out some photos from the Kid Zone at the Town Hall event! Food with Kids4Food with Kids2Kidsseeds 1

Preparedness

Disasters can happen at anytime and anyplace, and the most devastating disasters are often those that occur unexpectedly and with little warning.  FEMA defines disaster preparedness as “a continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and taking corrective action in an effort to ensure effective coordination during incident response.” (See the Preparedness Cycle image below).

Preparedness Cycle continuous loop graphic showing Planning, Organizing, Training, Equipping, Exercising, Evaluating, and Taking Corrective Action
Preparedness Cycle. Source: FEMA.gov

Using mitigation (actions to reduce emissions and activities that contribute to climate change) and adaptation (actions to improve resiliency to climate change and natural hazards), the City is proactively preparing for future conditions.

On this website, you’ll find resources for understanding the purpose, importance, and process of increasing disaster preparedness. Additionally, you will learn how to get prepared by following a simple, three-step process of making a plan, building a kit, and helping each other.