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

Let's Get Started

Emergency Supply Kit Checklist - What you need for survival.

Emergency Contact Card - Your vital information in case you need medical help.

Rx on the Run - A personalized prescription medication wallet card.

Make a Plan - What to do in case of an emergency.

Preparedness Pal Brochure - Emergency planning with a buddy. 
(Brochure in Spanish)  (Brochure in Korean)

 Emergency supply kit

Emergency Contact Information

Howard County Health Department
Phone: 410-313-6300

Maryland Department of Health (MDH)
Phone: 410-767-6500
After Hours Emergency: 410-795-7365

Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA)
Phone: 410-517-3600

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Phone: 800-232-4636

Be Prepared

Would you know what to do in the event of a significant public health incident, such as a natural disaster, pandemic or act of terrorism? Visit the pages and fact sheets below for information on how to prepare for and respond to a variety of emergencies.

General Preparedness Information
Tips to help you get ready in an emergency!

Extreme Hot and Cold Weather Conditions
Are you prepared?

Hurricanes, Storms and Floods
Are you really prepared?

Influenza (Flu)
The signs, symptoms and how to feel better


Zika Virus DiseaseBe informed and prevent the spread of this virus




Bioterrorism Agents and Diseases
Bacteria, viruses and toxins, oh my!


Preparedness and You!

Hurricanes – Learn How To Protect Yourself.

maryland Medical Reserve Corps logo

How Can YOU Help in an Emergency?
By becoming a Howard County Medical Reserve Corps Volunteer

The Howard County Medical Reserve Corps (HCMRC) Program is volunteer organization created in July 2002. Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteers can be medical and public health professionals as well as other community members that do not have healthcare backgrounds.
This organization prepares for and responds to extreme weather conditions, such as hurricanes, blizzards, and floods, as well as other emergencies affecting public health, such as disease outbreaks.
The MRC also plans community health activities that promote healthy habits.
To register as an HCMRC volunteer visit the Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps webpage.