What does a state of emergency mean?

Posted at 6:10 PM, Jan 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-23 07:01:22-05

Gov. Larry Hogan has declared a state of emergency in advance of the blizzard that will take effect Friday at 7 a.m. 

RELATED: Hogan declares state of emergency before storm

Here is what that means, from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency


Not all states of emergency are the same. Each state of emergency is different and can change depending on the severity of the event or emergency.  Be sure to check with your local news and with MEMA for updated information related to states of emergency.

A state of emergency has been declared in order to allow Maryland to coordinate and request emergency resources and support. A state of emergency allows the Governor to access certain resources, like the National Guard, in order to increase the State’s response.

A state of emergency is a good indicator that residents should remain alert and follow officials’ orders, news stations, and weather forecasts in order to be informed of the situation. In this particular case, residents are being advised that they should prepare for a significant winter storm and that motorists should avoid non-essential travel after the snow begins to fall. Here is additional information about this state of emergency:

Will schools be closed?

States of Emergencies typically do not mandate school closures. It usually is the local school district’s decision to stay open or to close.

Will stores and businesses be open?

This state of emergency does not prohibit employers to close. We ask that all employers consider employee safety at all times.

Can I drive on the roads?

Motorists are not prohibited from driving on the roads at this time. Use common sense–if you must drive and cannot change your plans, please do so carefully.  Give yourself extra time to get to your destination.  Let family or friends know your route and expected arrival time.