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
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. The Community Hazard Handbook was updated in 2021 and is currently undergoing an update to reflect the 2023 HIRA.
- Hazard Identification & Risk Assessment (HIRA) – An in-depth resource for understanding hazards and hazard risk in Howard County. The HIRA was updated in 2023.
Hazards in Howard County
Howard County's risk assessment includes 25 distinct hazard types.
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 2021 and 2022, as such, it does not include references or data pertaining to incidents and events that have occurred since that time.
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