Fort Meade: Prepped but not preoccupied by oncoming storm

A US Army Garrison Fort George G. Meade’s spokesperson said Monday that the base should be well situated to cope with the inclement weather Tropical Storm Isaias is expected to throw at it Tuesday August 4. Monday. the bases emergency management team had been monitoring the forecast “They're not really too nervous that they're we’re going to be hit with anything major,” said Mary Doyle, chief of media relations for garrison. Many of the bases’ reoccurring challenges with power outages during major storms had been mitigated years ago. The base’s World War Two-era housing used to experience frequent power outages with storms, she said. “In years past the most serious thing that we faced on the installation was power outages,” Doyle explained. “But in the last few years we've had all of our power lines buried. That really made a major change in terms of what people had to worry about and prepare for.” The base does work to stay prepared though. There are tabletop exercises each year where personnel run through operations in case of hurricanes, Doyle said. The tabletop exercise is a preparation event where all the people who have responsibilities involving response to such a storm emergency gather in a room and discuss what that response should look like. “You talk through the different scenarios so that people understand what they are expected to do, and what role other people have.” she said Many of those normally working at Fort Meade are already doing increased teleworking from home due to the COVID-19 emergency. Commuting may even be lighter Tuesday. Doyle related that additional staff from her office would probably be working from home due to the storm. Doyle noted that the storm could increase the danger of travel, especially in one particular location near the base. “We've had flash floods before,” she said. “The one place where we've had issues is off the installation, just outside the highway state Route 32 gate. Off Route 198 there's a little bridge by the water plant that is really low and sometimes the water of the Patuxent River rises to a point where it over-tops that bridge. and the road gets washed out a bit.” She advised residents to be considerate of the changing weather. “Just be careful,” Doyle said. “Avoid going out if (you) can and look out for your neighbors.”