The Baltimore Sun

County is upgrading its plan on government actions in emergencies

County officials unveiled yesterday an updated plan for ways the government would respond to emergencies, including a planned $57 million replacement of the county's emergency communications network.

The government conducted a yearlong review of the county's Emergency Operations Plan, which guides county officials on how to respond to all types of hazards, including any natural and man-made disasters, said Ellen Kobler, a county government spokeswoman.

In unveiling the plan yesterday, County Executive James T. Smith Jr. pointed to a law clarifying the county's ability to declare a state of emergency and order evacuations and the planned upgrade of the communications network used daily by public safety officials and first responders, Kobler said.

The network is expected to be completed within three years.

Josh Mitchell


Officials issue reminder on numbers of students allowed to live in homes

With college students returning for the fall semester, county government officials issued a reminder yesterday to school officials and residents about county code requirements that regulate the number of unrelated individuals living in an individual home.

In meetings with community leaders, county officials are asking for assistance in ensuring that the number of people living in homes does not violate county regulations.

Under the county zoning code, no more than two unrelated individuals can live in a home unless the structure is zoned as a "boarding or rooming house," although hotels, motels, and apartment buildings are exempted.

Boarding and rooming houses must obtain a permit and are allowed only in single-family detached dwellings.

Members of the county's Office of Community Conservation are working with management companies to encourage them to control the number of students living in apartment complexes near college campuses, officials said yesterday.

Violations can be reported to Baltimore County Code Enforcement at 410-887-3351.


Program on aging needs volunteers to transport homebound seniors

The Baltimore County Department of Aging's Home Team Program is seeking volunteers to provide transportation for homebound senior adults to medical appointments and shopping.

Volunteers will receive four hours of training on transporting seniors and how to react in emergency situations.

To sign up as a volunteer or obtain more information, call the Home Team office at 410-887-4141.


County firefighters to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy Association

County firefighters will raise money for the Greater Baltimore Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Firefighters will be at intersections throughout the county from Aug. 30 to Sept. 3 as part of the 11th annual "Fill the Boot" campaign.

Money collected will help support the association's services and research programs, including clinics at Johns Hopkins and Maryland General hospitals.

Last year, county firefighters raised more than $35,000 for area children and adults fighting neuromuscular diseases.

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