Howard County Public Health Preparedness Program (PHEP)

Mission: To prepare the County and its healthcare system to respond to natural and man-made public health emergencies including but not limited to: severe weather conditions, bioterrorism and disease outbreaks .

To carry out this mission, Howard County Health Department continually develops and exercises plans in cooperation with other County, State and Federal agencies to reduce the effects of, prepare for, respond to and recover from a public health emergency. Comprehensive emergency response and preparedness plans are developed and federally funded through a partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Maryland Department of Health's (MDH) Office of Preparedness and Response (OP&R).

Be Prepared

Would you know what to do if a major public health emergency, like a natural disaster, disease pandemic or act of terrorism happened in Howard County?  We are here to help you get ready for any and all unexpected events.

Summer Heat Safety



The summer heat can be dangerous. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are serious illnesses that can be deadly if not treated properly. The warning signs of heat-related illness include the following: light-headedness, headaches, muscle cramps, mild nausea or confusion, fatigue or profuse sweating and rapid breathing. All residents are encouraged to take a common-sense approach to the extreme heat and take the following precautions to prevent heat related illness:


  • Increase fluid intake; drink non-alcoholic and caffeine-free liquids
  • If possible, stay out of the sun during the middle of the day.
  • Pace yourself and take frequent breaks
  • If you must be out in the heat, wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen
  • NEVER leave children or pets unattended in a parked car or other hot environment.
  • Check regularly on infants, elderly, family and neighbors with health conditions as they are more vulnerable to heat-related illness.  

Additional Resources about Heat Safety:

Anyone in need of shelter or other assistance should call the Grassroots hotline at 410-531-6677 or visit