Maryland Emergency Management Agency

Mission

​To ensure that Maryland families, communities, and key stakeholders are provided the tools they need to prepare for, mitigate against, respond to, and recover from the consequences of emergency and disaster events.​

About

The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is the agency of State government with primary responsibility and authority for emergency preparedness policy, and for coordinating hazard mitigation, incident response, and disaster recovery. This includes supporting local governments as requested, and coordinating assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other federal partners.

MEMA has established the Maryland Emergency Preparedness Program (MEPP) to serve as an overarching strategy for the State’s homeland security and emergency management preparedness and operations. The MEPP is an all-hazards approach to preparedness across specific core capabilities within four mission areas: prevention/protection, response, recovery, and mitigation. One of the core tenets of the MEPP is to regularly assess and manage risk. One way this is achieved is by a whole-community approach to emergency management and working with not only government stakeholders at the federal, state, and local levels, but also the community.

MEMA is organized into three directorates underneath the Office of the Executive Director – the Preparedness, Operational Support, and Administration Directorates. The Preparedness Directorate includes planning, training, exercising, community outreach and public information, and mitigation programs. The Operations Directorate includes the Maryland Joint Operations Center, regional liaison program, and managing the State Emergency Operations Center. The Administration Directorate coordinates agency logistics, personnel, supplies, fiscal services, grants management, and technology support. The Office of the Executive Director oversees and leads the agency, including direct interaction with the national capital region and legislative and policy activities.

The Preparedness Directorate develops emergency preparedness strategy and policy and conducts activities and outreach for stakeholders and to residents. This Directorate includes the Adaptive Planning, Active Learning and Exercising, and External Outreach Branches and the Mitigation Unit. Adaptive Planning formulates preparedness plans and engages stakeholders in emergency management planning efforts. Active Learning and Exercising develops and conducts training programs and exercises for state and local partners. External Outreach provides preparedness resources, tools, and information to Maryland residents, community groups, faith-based groups, and the private sector before, during, and after disasters. The Mitigation Unit develops and oversees projects in local communities that reduce or eliminate the impact of future disasters.

The Operational Support Directorate coordinates Maryland’s emergency operations and regional liaison program and ensures ongoing situational awareness of incidents occurring throughout the State. This is accomplished through the Maryland Joint Operations Center (MJOC). Operated round-the-clock by National Guard and emergency management professionals, it was the first joint civilian-military watch center in the country. The MJOC serves as a communications hub for emergency responders and alerts decision-makers in Maryland when a situation warrants. In times of disaster, the Executive Director of MEMA activates the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) to support local governments. Representatives from state agencies, as well as some federal agencies, the private sector and volunteer organizations, are represented in the SEOC. Representatives have the authority to make decisions and allocate resources necessary on behalf of their agency for emergency response. When the Governor declares a state of emergency, MEMA coordinates efforts with FEMA to request a Presidential Disaster Declaration and provide assistance to those impacted by the disaster.

The Administration Directorate manages the agency’s budget and finance, grants, public assistance program, and IT support. The federal grants include the Homeland Security Grant Program, Emergency Management Performance Grant, and FEMA mitigation and recovery programs. Following some federally declared disasters, the MEMA public assistance program will provide federal funding to impacted state and jurisdictional government agencies and qualifying non-profits that responded to the emergency.

MEMA’s authority derives from Article 14 of the Annotated Code of Maryland. This Article creates MEMA and authorizes the political subdivisions of the state to create emergency management offices of their own. Article 14 also gives the Governor emergency powers – such as temporarily waiving state laws that may interfere with emergency response operations. While MEMA is part of the Maryland Military Department and under the authority of the Adjutant General, during emergencies the Governor may assume direct authority over the agency and the Executive Director of MEMA reports directly to the Governor.

MEMA is consistently improving Maryland’s emergency preparedness through augmenting the efforts and skills of our partners and providing resources and tools that residents, communities, and stakeholders need to better prepare for, mitigate against, respond to, and recover from disasters. By achieving this, MEMA strives to be “A Center for Preparedness Excellence.”​