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.

Cold Weather Safety

Colder weather often yields temperatures that can be dangerous after long periods of exposure, if proper precautions are not taken. Some of the dangers associated with winter weather include hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning and injuries from heat sources.

Winter-Dress-Infographic

Frostbite is the freezing and subsequent destruction of body tissue. The areas most likely to freeze are toes, fingers, ears, cheeks and the tip of the nose.

To protect yourself and your family in cold weather follow the below tips:

  • Cover your head. You lose as much as 50 percent of your body heat through your head.
  • Wear several layers of lightweight, loose-fitting clothing. The air between layers acts as insulation to keep you warmer
  • Wear mittens rather than fingered gloves. The close contact of fingers helps keep your hands warm.
  • Wear warm leg coverings and heavy socks, or two pairs of lightweight socks.
  • Be alert to other common winter hazards, such as carbon monoxide (CO) and injuries from heat sources. CO is produced by small gasoline engines, stoves, generators, lanterns and gas ranges, or by burning charcoal and wood. This colorless, odorless gas can cause severe illness and death. Go to https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/features/copoisoning/index.html for CO poisoning prevention tips.
  • Equip your vehicles with items such as heavy blankets, water, nonperishable food, a flashlight and a snow shovel. More information about cold weather.

Additional Resources about Cold Weather Safety:

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

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

At-a-Glance
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!