About

OEM’s mission is to provide centralization, coordination, and facilitation of multi-agency emergency planning, training, and exercise, and to holistically minimize and reduce the impacts of natural and human-caused disasters through proactive prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. 

OEM’s vision is to promote and foster the environment for a resilient Howard County that is safe, secure, and prepared for emergencies and disasters with the support of a robust emergency management program committed to protecting all residents, businesses, and visitors, to preserving the quality of life and the environment, and to quickly recovering and returning to normalcy whenever and however impacted.
 

OEM Office Photo 2024

Programs & Resources

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Howard County Emergency Plans

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Please click the button below to see Howard County's Emergency Plans. 

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2024-2029 Howard County Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan

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This page is dedicated to the 2024-2029 Howard County Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan and Flood Mitigation Plan. These plans are reviewed annually and thoroughly updated every five years. The goal of this page is to gather public input and keep the public updated on any changes. 

Please click the button below to view the plans and any related news!

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Hazard Information

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Preparedness begins with understanding your local hazards. A hazard is any potential source of harm or difficulty and may be natural or manmade. High-risk hazards have a high likelihood of local occurrence and may result in serious consequences to life safety, property, critical infrastructure, the environment, and the economy. Click the button below to learn more about hazards in Howard County. 

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ReadyHoCo

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Preparedness begins with understanding your local hazards. A hazard is any potential source of harm or difficulty and may be natural or human-caused. High-risk hazards have a high likelihood of local occurrence and may result in serious consequences to life safety, property, critical infrastructure, the environment, and the economy. Check out our Ready HoCo page to learn more about hazards specific to Howard County.

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Local Emergency Planning Commitee

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The purpose of the Howard County LEPC is to enhance Howard County’s preparedness and response to hazardous materials incidents by involving the government, private businesses, non-profit organizations, and residents in planning and preparing for such an incident. The Howard County LEPC will also act as an advisory committee to the Howard County Government in regards to emergency preparedness and response for hazardous materials and will fulfill any and all additional requirements articulated under the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA). The EPCRA was enacted by Congress in 1986 Congress to ensure that the government and the public had access to the information needed to plan for chemical emergencies. EPCRA required each state to establish a State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), to create local emergency planning districts, and to establish an LEPC in each district. In addition to fulfilling its role with respect to hazardous chemicals, the Howard County LEPC has expanded its scope to include preparedness for all hazards and all communities. 

The Howard County LEPC will be meeting again on April 18, 2024. Click the button below for details!

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Howard County Community Organizations Active in Disaster

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The Howard County Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD) is a collaborative effort of community stakeholders, each having an equal role in the organization. Their goal is to organize and deploy community resources in an efficient and timely manner, effectively contributing to each phase of a disaster. The Howard County COAD hopes to provide opportunities for community organizations to get involved to make the community and its members safer and more prepared for threats of all kinds. The COAD is a coordinating organization and does not assume direct operational responsibility in any disaster situation.

 

Please visit www.HoCoCOAD.org for further information about COAD, including active projects and how to join! Please email HoCOAD@gmail.com for all inquiries.

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2023 Annual Report

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This page is dedicated to the 2023 Annual Report from the Howard County Office of Emergency Management. This report reflects on the past year and highlights key accomplishments, awards & notable events, planning & operations, mitigation & resiliency, trainings & exercises, outreach & special events, and grants. 

Please click the button below to view the 2023 Annual Report. 

Team

Maria Bernadzikowski
Maria Bernadzikowski
Director of Office of Emergency Management
Read Biography

About

Maria Bernadzikowski most recently served as Assistant Chief Administrative Officer, where she developed and oversaw the coordination of all policies and procedures for County Administration, as well as issues and initiatives related to the environment and climate, emergency management and fleet. 

Before serving as  Assistant Chief Administrative Officer for the County's Department of County Administration, Maria served as Deputy Director of the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), working in various positions since joining the County as a Recovery Specialist following the 2016 Ellicott City flood. During her tenure, she managed OEM’s planning, continuity, and outreach programs and has deployed with the Maryland Incident Management Team to assist various states and jurisdictions in response to hurricanes, flooding, landslides, pre-planned events, and line of duty deaths.   In Howard County, she has served as the Planning Section Chief and Emergency Operations Center Manager during multiple events including, but not limited to, the 2018 Ellicott City Flood and COVID-19 Pandemic Response, for which she was recognized as Howard County’s 2020 Employee of the Year.

Maria joined Administration with more than 10 years of experience as an emergency manager and community liaison across the country and has a background in strategic planning, policy development, multi-agency coordination, and employee training and development.

Maria is a graduate of St. John’s University (BA, Government and Politics) and Tulane’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, where she earned a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Disaster Management.  She is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM), Master Business Continuity Professional (MBCP), Climate Change Professional (CC-P), member of the Order of the Sword and Shield National Honor Society, and a Nationally Qualified Planning Section Chief on the Maryland Incident Management Team.

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Lauren Chilton
Emergency Management Specialist II
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Caleb Goodie
Emergency Management Specialist II
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Michaela Salem-Seabrease
Emergency Management Specialist II
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Hannah Robinson
Emergency Management Specialist II
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Amelia Williams
Emergency Management Specialist
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Julia Zheng
Policy Support
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Lindsey Pfeffer
Administrative Aide

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