Communication & Outreach
Emergency preparedness can help people know what to expect during extreme temperature events, extended power-outages, and other climate risks and impacts. Providing the public with the information and resources most needed following a climate emergency is critical.
Increasing and improving communication, outreach, and education to all Howard County residents will ensure that underserved communities have access to critical emergency preparedness information. Incorporating new outreach techniques and tools will help the County reach underserved communities with this information.
Leading by Example: COVID-19 Response
Howard County has one of the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the country. Its Health Department’s robust outreach plan reached underserved populations through mobile vaccine clinics and COVID-19 testing sites. Department of Fire and Rescue Services, Mobile Integrated Community Health team, Howard County Health Department, and other departments who assisted in this effort made vaccines and testing accessible for seniors, individuals with Disabilities/Access and Functional Needs (D/AFN), and those who may not have the access or resources to get vaccinated/tested at traditional sites. Many lessons were learned about reaching new populations and this knowledge can be used to enhance climate resiliency outreach efforts.
Adequate & Equitable Access
Howard County aims to improve access to emergency shelters, warming/cooling centers, and other resiliency and recovery resources. Ensuring that adequate access to transportation and to County resources and services is secured ahead of climate hazard events, such as extreme heat/cold events, will ease operations of the County’s emergency response and public health processes.
The County will also ensure that community members with specific mobility needs have access to affordable and accessible public transportation options by improving Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance. Additionally, the County will offer no- cost and low-cost transportation options. This will ensure that equitable preparation and recovery efforts are offered before, during, and after climate hazard events.
Services & Partnerships
Howard County has partnered with the CAREAPP service that connects Howard County residents with resources and services that assist with or provide transportation, housing, food, education, and more. Download CAREAPP Howard County to your Apple or Android device and start searching for resources today. Click here to learn more.
The County has also developed two different centers, the Family Assistance Center (FAC) and Disaster Assistance Center (DAC), that are activated after an emergency to provide people with emergency support resources such as case management support for food, water, and shelter.
Check out these plans published by the Office of Emergency Management that address climate hazards and how the County responds to disasters:
- 2018 Howard County Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan
- The 2020-2025 Office of Emergency Management Strategic Plan
- Howard County Comprehensive Emergency Response and Recovery Plan (CERRP)
- Howard County Hazard Identification Risk Assessment (HIRA) Plan
- Community Hazard Handbook
- Animal Disaster Preparedness Packet
What You Can Do
Prepare for the Future
Explore these resources to learn more about public health, climate hazards, and community resilience.