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Weather & Natural Disasters

Weather Terminology 

Warning: A warning is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is occurring, imminent or likely. A warning means weather conditions pose a serious threat to life or property. People in the path of the storm need to take protective action.

Advisory: An advisory is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is occurring, imminent or likely. Advisories are for less serious conditions than warnings.

Watch:  A watch means hazardous weather is possible. The risk has increased but the occurrence, location or timing is still uncertain. It is a signal intended to stay prepared, have a plan in place and respond appropriately. 

These definitions are brought to you by the National Weather Service.

Weather Alerts

The Emergency Preparedness Network (Our) Weather Alerts the EPN re-distributes timely weather alerts from the National Weather Service to subscribers only. You can subscribe to receive weather alerts by joining the subscriber network at no cost.

The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national warning system that lets the president address the nation within 10 minutes during emergencies.

  • It's also used by various authorities to share crucial info like weather alerts, threats, AMBER alerts, and local incidents.
  • The EAS is broadcasted via TV, radio, satellite services, cable, and wireless systems, activated by the president with FEMA and the FCC overseeing tests. It's a vital tool when other alert methods aren't available.

NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) - is a nationwide network of radio stations that broadcast continuous weather information from the nearest National Weather Service office based on your physical location.

  • NWR broadcasts official warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • NWR also broadcasts alerts of non-weather emergencies such as national security or public safety threats through the Emergency Alert System.

FEMA Mobile App -  is a mobile disaster resource, made available by FEMA. (Downloadable on iOS or Android.)

The FEMA App allows you to:

  • Receive real-time weather and emergency alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations nationwide.
  • Find a nearby shelter if you need to evacuate to a safe space.
  • Find out if your location is eligible for FEMA assistance, find Disaster Recovery Center locations, and get answers to your most pressing questions.

Weather Preparedness by Event:

Storm Safety Fact Sheets

Winter Weather Fact Sheets

Power-Dependent Resources

Losing electrical power can be a life-threatening, emergency situation for patients who rely on power-dependent equipment.  For example, some patients require respirators or kidney dialysis machines.  We wanted to share resources for power-dependent patients, such as some of our local electricity providers offer an Emergency Medical Equipment Program.  While not all of the programs are exactly the same, most offer features such as notification of scheduled outages, notification of severe storms, such as hurricane warnings, and an information package sent annually to help prepare for emergencies.  Check the list below to see if your local electricity provider offers such a program and to get more information about program specifics.

To qualify for these programs, participants must have certification from a licensed physician that a medical need exists.  Please note, the electrical provider cannot offer participants priority restoration, nor does the Emergency Medical Equipment Program exempt customers from disconnection of electric service for non-payment.

  • Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE) - Apply for the Special Needs Programs here.
  • Choptank Electric - Please call 1-877-892-0001 to ask about their Emergency Medical Equipment Program and request a Medical Form.
  • Delmarva Power - Enroll in the Emergency Medical Equipment Notification Program here.
  • FirstEnergy – Potomac Edison (formerly Allegheny Power) - Please call the phone number on your bill to get the form to enroll in their Emergency Medical Equipment Program.
  • Pepco - Enroll in the Emergency Medical Equipment Notification Program here. Read the Brochure here.
  • Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) - Please call 1-888-440-3311 to ask about their Emergency Medical Equipment Program and request a Special Needs Form.

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