Maryland Emergency Management Agency Turns to Earth Networks for Public Safety and Planning Support
Germantown, MD – October 17, 2011 – Earth NetworksSM, the owner 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.”
The cities utilizing weather information, StreamerRT and alerts from Earth Networks include Baltimore, Annapolis and Ocean City. The counties using the weather data and solutions include Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore City, Baltimore, Calvert, Caroline, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Howard, Kent, Montgomery, Prince George's, Queen Anne's, St. Mary's, Somerset, Talbot, Washington, Wicomico and Worcester.
About Earth NetworksSM
As the provider of advanced weather data for nearly 20 years, Earth Networks (formerly AWS) operates the world’s largest weather observation and lightning detection networks and is building what will become the largest greenhouse gas monitoring network. Observations from Earth Networks inform and alert consumers, enterprises and governments around the world, providing them with advanced environmental intelligence for decision making and safety. The company’s popular WeatherBug website, desktop application and mobile apps provide millions of consumers with real-time, local weather information and dangerous severe weather alerts. Enterprise solutions from Earth Networks enable organizations, including energy and utilities, agriculture, schools, sports and recreation, emergency operations and government entities, to safeguard lives, prepare for weather and climate events and improve business operations. Earth Networks (www.earthnetworks.com) is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area with offices in Mountain View, Calif.; New York, NY; Milan, Italy and a local presence in 50 countries worldwide.
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