Frequently Asked Questions

To contact BGE, which provides power to most of Central Maryland, visit, or call to report outages at (877) 778-2222. If you see sparking power lines, immediately call 9-1-1. For other downed lines call (800) 685-0123 or (410) 685-0123 (TTY: 800-735-2258). 

The goal is to make all roads passable as quickly as possible after a storm ends. County snow removal crews work around the clock until conditions are safe for traveling. During a typical storm (under 4 inches), snow removal operations on County-maintained roadways should be completed within 24-36 hours after the end of the storm. For more information regarding our service levels during inclement weather, please visit the Department of Public Works’ page.

The Office of Emergency Management uses the Emergency Notification System, CivicReady. Alerts can be sent out via phone call, email, and text message. In addition to CivicReady, the Office of Emergency Management utilizes the social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor. The Maryland Emergency Management Agency and the Federal government can send out Wireless Emergency Alerts to your phone during imminent threats, AMBER Alerts, and for Presidential notifications.

You may be asked to evacuate your home or workplace due to a natural or man-made threat. Evacuation may be necessary to protect and sustain life. If you have pets, pre-determine a pet-loving relative or hotel that is a safe distance away from the incident. Consider the following checklist to safely evacuate yourself and your family.

If instructed to evacuate:

  • If you do not own a vehicle, make transportation arrangements in advance
  • Know primary and backup routes to your predetermined destination
  • Communicate your intentions to friends and family
  • Take only essentials (go-kit, etc.) to save time and space
  • If you are instructed to evacuate, do not wait, get on the road!
  • Quickly secure your home, unplug appliances, lock doors, etc.
  • Keep vehicle gas tanks full or fill up as soon as possible
  • Take one vehicle and travel in daylight hours, if possible
  • Avoid downed power lines and flooded roads; do not drive through deep water
  • Expect heavy traffic, some roads may be closed
  • Follow directions from officials and stay tuned to the radio for updates
  • What is a family communications plan?

A family communications plan is a plan that has been discussed and agreed upon by all family members. Family communication plans generally entail a household evacuation location and plan for communicating with one another. In the event of an emergency each family member calls, texts, or emails the same friend or relative, preferably an out of town contact, to provide status and location. Text messaging will often work when email is down and voice traffic is overloaded.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency requires that Emergency Management departments use a system that is comprehensive, risk based, and an all-hazard approach. All-hazard planning is based on a general plan that works for many different emergencies or disasters, with incident specific responses found in annexes to the general plan. Hazard Vulnerability Analysis rank the likelihood and severity of the possible hazards that could occur in the jurisdiction, and it gives Planners the ability to plan for events which pose the greatest threat.

An emergency meeting location is a safe, familiar place where your family can go for protection or to reunite. Make sure these locations are accessible for household members with access and functional needs. If you have pets or service animals, think about animal-friendly locations. Identify the following places:

Indoors: Anne Arundel County is prone to tornadoes, hurricanes, and other high-wind storms. Ensure you and your family know where to go for protection from these storms. This could be a small, interior, windowless room, such as a closet or bathroom, on the lowest level of a sturdy building

In your neighborhood: This is a place in your neighborhood where your household members will meet if there is a fire or other emergency and you need to leave your home. The meeting place could be a big tree or a mailbox at the end of the driveway

Outside of your neighborhood: This is a place where your family will meet if a disaster happens when you are not at home and you cannot get back to your home. This could be a library, community center, house of worship, or a relative or friend’s home outside of your town or city. Having an out of town meeting place can help you reunite if a disaster happens and you cannot get home or to your out of town meeting place. Make sure everyone knows the address of the meeting place and discuss ways you would get there.

Emergency Management is the planning, assignment, and coordination of the resources available during the mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery phases of natural or man-made emergencies or disasters. The Office of Emergency Management continually reviews the plans to identify and correct problems, while working with neighboring counties and other State and Federal government, and non-governmental agencies to insure a correct and adequate response and recovery will be made in the event of an emergency or disaster.

Wireless Emergency Alerts are issued by State or Federal agencies and will appear on your smartphone, similar to a text message, but have a unique sound to gain your attention. 

  • Free, no need to subscribe 
  • Issued for three categories: Imminent Threats, AMBER Alerts, or Presidential Notifications
  • Received based on your location relative to the emergency

Anne Arundel County utilizes an emergency notification system, CivicReady©, capable of contacting citizens and businesses quickly in case of an emergency. 

  • Notifications will be sent via voice, text message, and email 
  • Landlines are automatically subscribed, other modes must be opted into 
  • Notifications will come from: 443-347-9318 or “Alert Anne Arundel” 

Subscribe now or contact the Office of Emergency Management at 410-222-0600.

When emergencies occur, officials may issue shelter-in-place or evacuation orders. Although these orders can be issued for various emergencies, it is important to know and practice the difference in these protective actions.

  • Secure all doors and windows
  • Shut off all heating furnaces, air conditioners, window fans, or other equipment with air intakes
  • Cover food and put remaining uncovered food in the refrigerator
  • Move to a central room or area of the structure (keep water and emergency supplies with you)
  • Keep your TV or radio on and turned on to the local stations
  • Do not use the telephone except for an extreme emergency
  • Do not leave your home (or the structure) until you are told it is safe to do so. If you are in an automobile, roll the windows up, close all vents, turn off the fan, and leave the area immediately
  • Bring pets inside, if possible