With Maryland largely spared from the worst of superstorm Sandy's wrath, some Baltimore-area emergency personnel -- including a specially trained urban search and rescue team and multiple medical units -- are gearing up to be dispatched to more devastated areas to the north.
Both New York and New Jersey saw widespread destruction on Monday night into Tuesday morning, with businesses and homes along the New Jersey shore destroyed and boroughs of New York City inundated with water.
Maryland also saw flooding, particularly in shoreline communities like Crisfield, but the destruction was not as widespread as it was in the more northern states.
In response, the Baltimore Urban Area Security Initiative, a program that uses U.S. Department of Homeland Security funding to bolster the Baltimore region's emergency response capabilities, has mobilized its search and rescue team in case it will be needed in towns or cities up the coast, according to Cal Bowman, chairman of the Baltimore UASI and a senior policy advisor for the Mayor's Office of Emergency Management.
The team is designed to respond to regional and national disasters such as "earthquakes, hurricanes, widespread tornadoes, and manmade and terrorist events" on short notice, Bowman said.
Its capabilities include physical search and rescue, medical care, damage assessment, reconnaissance, water rescue operations and stabilizing damaged structures, Bowman said.
Apart from the UASI, the city has put five advanced life support and five basic life support medic units on stand-by, ready to be mobilized to northern states, Bowman said.
In Maryland, UASI resources have been provided to the Maryland Emergency Management Agency -- including a cache of 800mhz radios from the city and an Incident Management Team (IMT) from Howard County -- to assist in the emergency response within the state.
The Baltimore UASI is a partnership between Baltimore, Annapolis, and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties. More than $100 million has been granted to the group by DHS and the Federal Emergency Management Agency since 2003.
A team of emergency management professionals from Indiana who arrived in Baltimore on Monday through an Emergency Management Assistance Compact request to assist the city in its damage assessment in the days following Sandy's path through the state have also been redeployed to New Jersey, said Ian Brennan, a spokesman for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
(c)2012 The Baltimore Sun
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11/04/2012 12:26 AM EDT
PHOTO: A Marathon Wedding Proposal, Minus The Marathon
HuffPost's Katie Bindley reports:
Like all the competitors who trained for the 2012 NYC Marathon, Hannah Vahaba will not be running the race this year. But she also will never forget her moment at the finish line. After traveling in from Atlanta, Vahaba picked up a marriage proposal in Central Park on Saturday without having to traverse the 26.2-mile course.
"This is my fiance," said Vahaba, 31, who had tears running down her face as she stood in Central Park where the race would have ended, just moments after Martin O'Donoghue had proposed.
Photo by Damon Scheleur
11/04/2012 12:25 AM EDT
Check Donation Lists
Be sure to check donation lists to see what items are needed. For example, at one Staten Island donation center, there is a critical need for batteries batteries batteries, candles, matches, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, pet food, baby supplies, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner. Clothing isn't needed as much at that center.
-Catharine Smith, HuffPost
11/03/2012 10:42 PM EDT
Brooklyn Regions Still Lack Electricity, Heat and Water Days After Storm
HuffPost's Tim Stenovec reports:
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which killed at least 48 people in New York when it battered the Northeast last week, frustrated residents in this corner of South Brooklyn are coping without electricity, heat and running water.
11/03/2012 10:18 PM EDT
On Long Island, Cuomo demands Accountability from Utilities
At a massive food distribution event at Republic Airport in Farmingdale, Cuomo said power has been restored to 60 percent of the New York metropolitan area.
LIPA reported Saturday evening that 460,000 customers remained without power, down from more than 900,000 initially.
"I've warned the utility companies repeatedly they operate under a state charter, essentially," Cuomo said. "The utility companies are not happy with my warning and frankly, I don't care."
"The customers are not happy. The bill payers are not happy and the people without power are not happy," Cuomo said. "People are suffering. It is an issue of safety and if the utilities were not prepared we will hold them accountable."
Read the full story on Huntington Patch.
11/03/2012 9:38 PM EDT
Gasoline Shortage Likely To Last For Several More Days
Even as power returns to parts of the region assailed by Hurricane Sandy, millions of drivers seeking gasoline appear likely to face at least several more days of persistent shortages.
11/03/2012 8:50 PM EDT
Behind @ConEdison: The 27 Year-Old Preventing Panic, One Tweet At A Time
HuffPost's Bianca Bosker:
On Saturday, 27-year-old Kate Frasca was manning Con Edison’s Twitter account, @ConEdison, responding to customers’ frustrations, questions, praise and criticism at an average clip of one tweet every six minutes.
11/03/2012 8:35 PM EDT
Estimate Says 600 Million Gallons Of Water Hit Mass Transit System
@ USACE_HQ :
Roughly 600 M gallons of storm water infiltrated the nation’s busiest and oldest underground mass transit system... http://t.co/5jMXDhRc
11/03/2012 8:15 PM EDT
$12 Million Donated So Far To NYC Mayor's Fund For Recovery
@ MikeBloomberg :
If you would like to donate: visit http://t.co/9w8egqxD So far $12 million has been contributed. 100% of funds go to #Recovery efforts.
11/03/2012 7:52 PM EDT
Don't Touch Downed Power Lines
@ usNWSgov :
Post #Sandy reminders: never touch a downed power line or anything touching one. Washing your hands prevents illness. #NWS #CDC