From Harford County government:
September is Emergency Preparedness Month and the Harford County Emergency Operations Center’s Citizen Corps Council recommends that all citizens, including those with disabilities, develop an emergency plan. “No one knows what may occur and tomorrow may be too late,” said Citizen Corps Council Chairperson Brian Bauer. “Prior to an emergency, preparedness is essential, so citizens should have an emergency plan, build a disaster supply kit, and develop their support network,” Bauer added.
Emergency preparedness is the responsibility of every citizen. Preparing for an emergency involves asking questions about what kind of emergencies could arise, who would be available to help, how you would get information about the emergency, how would it be possible to stay in touch with family and friends, how to shelter at home, and what would happen if an evacuation is ordered.
“These questions seem daunting,” admits Bauer, “but with planning tools available from the Division of Emergency Operations, the Health Department, and the Maryland Department of Disabilities, anyone can make a plan.”
These planning tools, along with “Surviving the Storm: the Official Hurricane Guide for Harford County” and Harford County’s 2012 “All –Hazard Preparedness Guide” will be available free of charge at all branches of the Harford County Public Library and Harford County Senior Activity Centers during Emergency Preparedness Month in September.
In addition to the documents, visitors can pick up a free first aid kit and a Home Emergency Supply Checklist for their refrigerator. Libraries will have Red Cross First Aid books in English and Spanish. “We also decided to focus on children this year,” said Lisa Swank, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, of the Harford County Health Department.
“We have an interactive workbook for children on the importance of being prepared in an emergency. Through stories, mazes, games and more, children learn about emergency preparedness planning without becoming alarmed. We also have a book for parents on how to prepare children for disasters. Senior centers will provide free emergency preparedness books for those with functional limitations. We encourage everyone to stop by their library branch or senior activity center to learn more about preparing for an emergency and to visit our website at http://www.harfordcountyhealth.com for more information,” Swank advised.
Citizens are also encouraged to register for Connect CTY – the county’s emergency notification system where public safety officials can send vital emergency messages to affected citizens and businesses in a matter of minutes. The One Step Notification System registration through Connect CTY is available at www.harfordpublicsafety.org.
The Harford County Division of Emergency Operations works to educate and inform the public on how to be properly prepared for all types of emergencies and potential disasters that could occur in Harford County. For more information on developing emergency plans and creating disaster supply kits, visit www.harfordpublicsafety.org. The County’s Division of Emergency Operations is comprised of the 9-1-1 Communications and Dispatch Center, the Office of Emergency Management, and the Hazardous Materials Response Team (HAZMAT). The Division of Emergency Operations staffs the Harford County Emergency Operations Center (EOC), a command and control center where local and state representatives continue to run the government and direct resources during an emergency or disaster.
The Harford County Department of Community Services was established in 1979 via Executive Order and works daily to meet the needs of our seniors, youth, persons with disabilities and those struggling to overcome addiction. The Department works with federal, state, local and private agencies to ensure our county continues to evolve and remains dedicated to providing the best possible services for our citizens and community.
The Harford County Public Library operates eleven branches located throughout the county. The library serves over 200,000 registered borrowers of all ages and has an annual circulation of almost 5 million. The core purpose of the library is connecting people with information and promoting the love of reading within the community.
The Harford County Health Department is the local operating arm of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) in Harford County and is responsible for the delivery of a wide range of preventative health care, clinical services, and environmental health services to citizens living in Harford County. The mission of the Harford County Health Department is to protect and promote the health, safety and environment of the citizens of Harford County through community assessment, education, collaboration and assurance of services.