Public Health Preparedness Program

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.

Emergency Preparedness Kit

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.

Additional Resources
Heat/Sun Safety Tips
Look Before You Lock hot car infographic



Extreme heat can be dangerous after long periods of exposure, if proper precautions are not taken. 

To protect yourself and your loved ones from the dangers posed by prolonged sun and heat exposure, follow the below tips:

  • NEVER leave children or pets unattended in a parked car or other hot environment.
  • If you must be outside in the heat, wear light-colored, lightweight, loose-fitting clothing, a hat and sunscreen.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink water and caffeine-free liquids. Alcoholic beverages do not keep you hydrated.
  • Take frequent rest breaks in air-conditioned or shaded areas if you must work or exercise outdoors. If possible, stay out of the sun during the middle of the day.
  • Know the signs of heat-related illness, including: extreme weakness, muscle cramps, nausea, headache, vomiting, fainting, dry/red skin.
  • Check regularly on infants, elderly, family and neighbors with health conditions as they are more vulnerable to heat-related illness. 
  • If planning a trip to the lake/beach/pool to cool off, be sure to review swim and water safety guidelines with your family and children

Additional Resources about Heat/Sun Safety:

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

Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps

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.

For more information or questions, contact Patty Walcott by phone at 410-313-7569 or via email.

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

Health & Medical

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