Storm Recovery Information
All county government offices and services are now operating on a regular schedule.
Q: I am still without power. Are shelters still available?
A: The County is no longer offering shelters. However, please visit any one of the County’s community and senior centers or library branch during normal business hours to get warm and charge electronic devices.
Q: I am still without power and am in need of water. Where can I go?
A: The County typically deploys its “water buffalo”, a source of potable water; those needing water must bring their own containers.
Q: What can I do with storm debris? Will the landfill accept it?
A: Residents who have a large quantity of debris or household trash as a result of flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy, may dispose of it at the Howard County Landfill, 2350 Marriottsville Road in Marriottsville. Hours of operation are:
Monday to Saturday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The landfill is closed on Sundays
If you have more than one truckload of material, you may apply for a special exception permit to allow you to dispose of two tons of household trash at no cost. This form may be obtained at the landfill scale house or on the landfill webpage under the Landfill Use, Residential and Commercial section.
Residents who do not have yard waste collection at their home, may dispose of yard waste and clean wood waste for FREE at the Landfill. Questions, call 410-313-6444.
CONTACT the Bureau of Environmental Services at 410-313-6444.
Q: How can I take care of mold and/or mildew caused by flooding?
A: After storms, floods, and hurricanes, mold and mildew spores may be present in large amounts. These spores may cause allergic reactions and damage homes and household goods.
Some tips for effective cleaning of mold and mildew:
- Clean, disinfect and dry all affected areas. Use a non-ammonia soap (ammonia plus bleach will result in toxic fumes) or detergent and hot water to scrub contaminated areas
- Bag and dispose of materials with moldy residue, such as rags, paper, leaves and debris. Hard-surfaced materials can be kept once they are cleaned and disinfected.
- Ventilate the area well before, during and after entering work area.
- Wear a paper mask, coveralls, waterproof gloves and goggles while cleaning.
- For more information, visit http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/mold or call 410-313-6000.
Q: Is it safe to eat food that hasn’t been refrigerated for multiple days due to the storm?
A: The Health Department offers the following food safety tips:
- Discard all perishable foods that have been without refrigeration and have remained at a temperature of 40° Fahrenheit and above for two hours or more
- Do not eat canned foods if the can has been damaged
- Keep foods that have been stored in an unopened, well functioning freezer based on the following criteria:
- A half-full, unopened freezer will keep foods safely for up to 24 hours;
- A fully stocked, unopened freezer can keep foods safely for 48 hours;
- Refreeze foods only if the items still contain ice crystals and feel cold and hard to the touch
- Do not taste foods to see if they are spoiled --- If in doubt throw it out.
- For more information, visit http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/foodwater or http://www.fsis.usda.gov/help/FAQs_Food_safety/index.asp or call 410-313-6000.
Q: I heard about the power outage at the treatment plant. Is it safe to drink water?
A: Drinking water in Howard County is SAFE. While the Little Patuxent Wastewater Treatment Plant did lose power for a period of time during the storm, that system is completely separate and independent from the county’s drinking water supply. At no time was the drinking water supply compromised. Power has since been restored to the Treatment Plant.
Q: What are some Portable Generator Safety Tips?
A. Never use a portable generator indoors, including in your home, garage, basement, crawlspace shed or partially-enclosed area – even with ventilation. Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent Carbon Monoxide (CO) buildup in the home. Use generators only in outdoor dry areas far away from doors, windows and vents that can allow CO to seep indoors. Install battery-operated CO alarms or plug-in CO alarms with battery backup in your home and test the alarms frequently. Carbon monoxide may cause fatigue, weakness, chest pains for those with heart disease, shortness of breath upon exertion, nausea, vomiting, headaches, confusion, lack of coordination, impaired vision, loss of consciousness, and in severe cases, death. If you start to feel dizzy or weak, get to fresh air right away. Generator safety tips are available in Spanish, Korean and Vietnamese at http://www.howardcountymd.gov/departments.aspx?id=6442466639 or call the Department of Fire & Rescue Services at 410-313-6000.
Q: What other resources exist in the county?
A: The MAP (Maryland Access Point) Provides information and referral assistance to help adults 50 years of age and older, adults 18 and older with disabilities, their family members and other caregivers. MAP specialists will also be able to provide you with information and/or referrals to help you with storm cleanup efforts.
CONTACT: 410-313-5980 or 1-800-506-5806 or MD Relay 711
Q: Will my insurance cover storm-related damages?
A: Contact your own homeowner insurance company or check out the Maryland Insurance Administration at http://www.mdinsurance.state.md.us/sa/jsp/Mia.jsp for answers to your storm-related insurance questions.
CONTACT the Maryland Insurance Administration at 410-468-2000 or 1-800-492-6116
Q: I have contacted my insurance company. Do I need to contact the County to report property damage related to the storm as well?
A: If your property has sustained damage or loss, please remember it is your responsibility to contact your home owners insurance to file a claim.
The County encourages residents and businesses to report damages by using the DILP storm damage reporting form .
The purpose of this reporting system is to enable the County to collect data in order to possibly become eligible for state and federal disaster assistance, including potential reimbursement to individual property owners. The County will only be eligible if the disaster declaration threshold is met.
For a list of consumer resources and information on flood insurance, please visit the Maryland Insurance Administration at: http://www.mdinsurance.state.md.us
For more information on disaster survivor assistance, please visit FEMA at: http://www.fema.gov/disaster-survivor-assistance