Boat safety

Don't let hurricane season take the wind out of your boating fun! Between June 1 and November 30, boaters should be aware of impending hazardous weather and plan ahead to secure their vessels when necessary. Safe boating tips can be found on our Fact Sheet.

Caring for pets during an emergency

The Harford County Department of Emergency Services (DES) and the Division of Animal Control have worked together to ensure that provisions for pets are included in our Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). For public health and safety reasons, no pets except for service animals will be allowed in Harford County mass care shelters. Our EOP addresses emergency animal sheltering in a way that keeps people and animals separate. Planning ahead can save your pet's life and make yours easier. 

Prepare a list of pet-friendly hotels/motels. Make a copy of veterinary records, including dates of shots and contact information and include it in your Disaster Supply Kit/Go-bag. For those residents requiring assistance with sheltering their pets, Harford County will shelter pets at a facility designated for pets. Pets have many of the same needs as their human counterparts. Items for pets to include in your Disaster Supply Kit should include water, non-perishable food, a mechanical (non-electric) can opener, a portable carrier or crate, collars and leashes, a favorite toy, and a piece of your clothing that can go along with your pet to the shelter. See the Fact Sheet for ways to help your pet.

Helping children after a disaster

Some children may never show distress, while other may not show any signs of being upset for several weeks or even months after an emergency. Other children may not show a change in behavior, but may still need your help. See the Fact Sheet for ways to help children cope following a disaster.

Listen to public alerts, warnings

DES and our local and state partners have multiple ways of getting emergency alerts and warnings to the public. Should an incident occur, you will be notified of any actions you should take. When an emergency occurs, public safety officials may use the Emergency Alert System (EAS) to broadcast emergency public information via TV and radio. Public safety officials may also use the emergency notification system (phone callout system), NOAA Hazard Alert Radios, media releases, sirens, and/or route alerting. An alert and/or warning that is delivered by any of these methods will instruct the public to tune into radio to your local Emergency Alert System stations (WXCY 103.7 FM and WHFC 91.1 FM) or your television to Harford Cable Network:

  • Armstrong: Channel 7
  • Comcast: Channel 21
  • Verizon: Channel 31

If you receive a message that contains an alert and/or warning:

  • Remain calm.
  • Turn on your local Emergency Alert System Station and listen for instructions.
  • If you do not hear an emergency announcement, it is probably a test; but listen a while longer to be sure.
  • Develop an emergency communication plan in case family members are separated during a disaster.

The Peach Bottom 10-mile Emergency Planning Zones in the northern area of Harford County is served by a siren system that is tested on the first Wednesday of each month. The siren tones during a test are much shorter than the 3-minute siren tone you will hear during an emergency.

Caring for emotional needs

It is natural to be upset when you think your health and the health of your loved ones is threatened. Pay attention to your own feelings and take care of your emotional needs, using tips on our Fact Sheet. Then you can better help friends and family members handle their concerns.