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Maryland EMA Turns to Earth Networks for Public Safety and Planning Support
Earth NetworksSM, the owner of and operator of the largest weather, lightning and climate observation networks, announces it is continuing to support the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), the agency that is responsible for coordinating the response to any major emergency or disaster, through a new five-year contract with the State of Maryland. With the agreement, MEMA, the Maryland Joint Operations Center (MJOC), county and city emergency management agencies and 911 centers across the state will use live, local weather data, technology solutions, and severe weather alerts from Earth Networks to enhance operations and aid in emergency response and contingency planning.
Earth Networks first began working with the Maryland agency in 2004 by providing weather information from nearly 250 stations throughout the state to emergency management officials. Since then, MEMA has used detailed, neighborhood-level weather data from Earth Networks proprietary network of weather stations to enhance their analysis and responsiveness in day-to-day operations and emergency situations. For example, temperature readings from Earth Networks help state officials determine when to initiate a Heat Emergency Action Plan to protect residents, and advanced storm and lightning tracking tools help state officials stay informed of severe summer thunderstorms across Maryland.
Earth Networks will also provide MEMA with the following weather tracking and alerting solutions:
- Web-based Weather Visualization Tool: Maryland officials will continue to utilize Earth Networks’ StreamerRT computer application, a hosted GIS- (geographic information system) based weather visualization tool that monitors the weather and provides timely weather forecasts and weather-triggered alerts.
- Breaking Weather Alerts: Earth Networks will send breaking severe weather alerts to the computers and cell phones of state and local officials when changing and potentially dangerous weather approaches.
- LCD Weather Displays: Beginning this year, Earth Networks will be installing its customized LCD weather displays at emergency operations centers throughout the state. The displays provide quick access to important real-time weather data, including current conditions, the three-day forecast, live camera images and weather alerts.
“Timely and accurate meteorological data, including wind speed, direction, ambient temperature, dew point, precipitation and humidity levels, all play a critical role in planning the mitigation and management of both natural and man-made disasters,” says Earth Networks President and CEO Bob Marshall. “By using very local weather data, instead of information from a distant airport or facility, state emergency management officials and first responders are better able to understand atmospheric conditions and advise the public of appropriate actions.”
For more information, see www.earthnetworks.com
- Corporate News/9-1-1magazine.com (via Earth Networks, 10/17/11)