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Well-practiced, pre-laid plans at the Baltimore (Md.) Fire Department led to a seamless response when Superstorm Sandy hit the Maryland shores. Multiple agencies worked together at the area's emergency operations center to discuss the storm days before, when forecasters predicted a massive, once-in-a-lifetime hurricane to hit the shores of the East Coast.
To learn more about Sandy's effect on Baltimore, FIRE CHIEF spoke with BFD Chief Jim Clack. The department protects more than 640,000 residents with about 1,800 members who respond to more than 235,000 calls annually. Clack explains Sandy's effect on Baltimore's inner harbor area; damage to the city and power outages; and deployed departmental teams to harder hit New Jersey. He also discusses personnel's pre-storm readiness based on experience: In the past two years, the city has been hit by an earthquake, a hurricane and a tornado.
In this podcast, Clack also discusses:
- Baltimore's use of pre-exercised emergency plans
- Fire department personnel preparedness, including securing family members
- EOC operations the day Superstorm Sandy hit
- Radio communications performance on the nearly statewide 800 MHz radio network
- Commercial cell-phone coverage spottiness
- How FEMA Applied its Lessons Learned to Sandy
- Will Superstorm Sandy Help Fire Departments Secure Funding?
- Tell Us Your Sandy Recovery Stories, Lessons Learned
- How You Can Help Departments Hit by Superstorm Sandy
Will Superstorm Sandy lead to increased funding for search-and-rescue equipment used by fire departments? Tell us what you think by answering FireChief.com's monthly poll.