Gov. Martin O'Malley said that he made the declaration "as we face another round of snow storms expected to hit our region" on Wednesday.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch for much of the state, effective Wednesday night through Thursday evening. The weather service said that the region could get five or more inches of snow and sleet.
O'Malley encouraged citizens to follow the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) for updates to the forecast, and MEMA said that 6 to 10 inches of snow are expected in the storm.
By declaring a state of emergency before the storm hits, the state can do the following, according to a statement from the MEMA:
- Deploy members of the Maryland National Guard
- Contract emergency services through the general services department
- Waive certain rules and regulations to speed storm recovery efforts
MEMA said that because forecasters were predicting heavy, wet snow, citizens should prepare for outages and conserve power before the storm hits Wednesday night.
“It’s been a long winter for many Maryland families. With the polar vortex, a bad ice storm and several snow storms already this year, it’s incredibly important for all Marylanders to remain vigilant and find smart ways to safely conserve energy," O’Malley said. "Once again we ask our residents to be prepared, avoid travel if at all possible, and remember to keep an eye on relatives, friends and neighbors."