Hazard Information

Understanding Hazards in Howard County

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.

Risk = Likelihood + Consequence

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Hazard Resources

For detailed information on hazard risk in Howard County, the following resources provide detailed information on hazard risk in Howard County:

  • Community Hazard Handbook – An overview of local hazards and hazard risk designed for families and businesses in Howard County.  Please note, the Community Hazard Handbook was updated in 2021.

HIRA Updates

The Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) is a comprehensive analysis of manmade and natural hazards which could impact Howard County, Maryland. The initial HIRA was developed between the years 2014 and 2015 to serve as a foundational document for emergency preparedness planning efforts within Howard County. Development of the HIRA was led by the Howard County Office of Emergency Management (OEM). The HIRA reflects a whole-community approach to risk assessment involving local government stakeholders, private-sector partners, and private citizens.  The updated HIRA was researched and developed between 2019 and 2020, as such, it does not include references or data pertaining to incidents and events that have occurred since that time.

* Please note, the scores for the various hazards were submitted by our subject matter experts in August 2019. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic and nationwide civil unrest spanning from March 2020 to present at the time of its publishing (July 2020), subject matter experts were asked to incorporate additional feedback or update scores if applicable. These updates were incorporated into the 2019 version. The HIRA will be updated annually for these scores in order to provide the most accurate data for Howard County.

Prepare Yourself

Understanding your hazard risk is only the first step toward building a resilient community. Learn more about how you can protect your home or business from the consequences of a disaster at the following locations:

ReadyHoCo - Howard County Office of Emergency Management 

Ready.gov – Dept. of Homeland Security

Emergency.cdc.gov – Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

https://www.weather.gov/safety/ – National Weather Service

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