Prepare Because You Care - Citizen Emergency Preparedness Training

Are you prepared for the next emergency? The Harford County Department of Emergency Services (DES) wants to help!  

When it comes to emergencies and disasters, it's not a question of IF, but WHEN. The demands placed upon our first responders increase dramatically during an emergency and their ability to respond quickly can be significantly impacted. Additionally, the next emergency may cause power to be out for an extended period of time.

To better prepare our communities, Harford County has developed the Prepare Because You Care (PBYC) citizen training class. PBYC is designed to address preparedness for a wide-range of disasters and emergency situations. PBYC classes are free of charge and are offered multiple times each year at different locations around Harford County.

Our next PBYC class will be held at the Darlington Volunteer Fire Company - House 1 (2600 Castleton Road, Darlington, MD 21034) and will take place on Tuesdays beginning on September 4, 2018.

Each PBYC offering consists of four classes (one class per week for four consecutive weeks). Each class begins at 7 PM and ends at approximately 9 PM. 

Persons interested in registering for Prepare Because You Care must be at least 18 years old.  For younger attendees who are interested in attending, a parent, close relative, or guardian will need to sign a consent form on the first day of class.

You may want to consider the following questions regarding your personal preparedness:

  • Do I have an emergency supply kit?
  • Do I have drinking water (one gallon per person/per day for at least three days)?
  • Do I have a working radio and flashlight with fresh batteries?
  • Do I have extra medications on hand and do I have extra supplies for my pets?
  • Will my neighbor's with functional and special needs require assistance? 
  • Can my family be self-sufficient for 72 hours or longer?
  • Do I have the correct type of fire extinguisher and do I know how to use it properly?
  • What actions can I take to prevent crime in my community?
  • Do I know the basic steps in helping to save a life?
If you are unsure about the answers to any of these questions, we invite you to attend 

The class syllabus is as follows:

Class #1: DES and Emergency Preparedness 101 (2 hours)
  • What is Emergency Management?  
  • What public safety roles does the Department of Emergency Services fulfill?
  • Harford County’s disaster history and an introduction to natural and man-made hazards
  • Assembling an emergency preparedness kit
Class #2: Fire Safety and Basic First Aid (2 hours)
  • Learn fire types and how it occurs
  • An introduction to the different types of fire extinguishers and how to operate one
  • Fire risk and prevention
  • Basic first aid techniques: assessing a patient, checking vital signs, recognizing trouble, seeking help, controlling bleeding, caring for various medical conditions, etc. 
Class #3: Crime Prevention/Awareness (2 hours)
  • Overview of the Harford County Sheriff's Office
  • Learn how to recognize suspicious activity and how to report it to 911
  • Learn personal safety techniques (e.g. walking and driving)
  • Learn steps to protect your home against break-ins
  • Learn about the “Neighborhood Watch” program and how to implement it in your neighborhood
Class #4: Cardiopulminary Resucitation (CPR) Certification Class and use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) (2 hours)
  • Learn current CPR protocols for adults, children, and infants and receive a two-year CPR certification! 
  • Learn how to use an AED
  • Learn how to assist someone who may be choking. 
Since many PBYC offerings may be held at locations other than the DES building, an optional 5th week has been added to provide class participants with a tour of the Harford County DES building that includes the Harford County 911 Communications and Dispatch Center and Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

If you have any questions about this program or are interested in signing up for the next class, please contact:

Linda Ploener, Manager, Emergency Preparedness & Planning
Office phone: 410-638-4029 or