Legislation creating an Office of Resilience within the Maryland Department of Emergency Management goes into effect this October.
In response to the effects of climate change, Maryland will establish the Office of Resilience with the Maryland Department of Emergency Management (MDEM). This new office is the result of leadership from Senator Katie Fry Hester (Carroll and Howard Counties), Speaker Pro Sheree Sample-Hughes (Dorchester and Wicomico Counties), and Delegate Courtney Watson (Howard County); all of whom championed legislation during the past several legislative sessions. On Monday, Governor Hogan signed SB630, finally creating the Office of Resilience and moving Maryland toward a more prepared future.
According to The Nature Conservancy:
“For the last three years, I have sponsored legislation to create an Office of Resilience within the Department of Emergency Management, and this year we were able to get it across the finish line,” said Sen. Hester. “This office will be critical for coordinating state-level hazard prevention, protection and recovery programs, and will prioritize our most vulnerable communities as they manage the impact of flooding, cyberattacks and other environmental or manmade hazards.”
The Director of MDEM will appoint a Chief Resilience Officer who will lead the new office and coordinate state efforts to prepare for climate change and natural disasters. The Office of Resilience will lead initiatives across Maryland aimed at increasing resilience, coordinating with partners at all levels of government. By placing the office within MDEM, emergency management leaders can strengthen existing response capabilities and preparedness.