Emergency Preparedness

The Harford County Department of Emergency Services has the responsibility to plan and be prepared for county-wide emergencies and disasters. It is also each citizen's responsibility to be prepared, inform each member of the household, and maintain an Emergency Supply Kit.

Personal preparedness

After a disaster, you and your family should be prepared to be on your own for at least seven days. In some emergencies, such as pandemic influenza, you may need to prepare for a week or more. First responders in the field will be busy and may not be able to provide immediate care to all who need it.

 NOAA Hazard Alert Radios

NOAA Hazard Alert Radios are an important tool in emergency preparedness. A Hazard Alert Radio that has S.A.M.E. (Specific Area Message Encoding) technology can be programed for the jurisdiction you live in. The SAME code for Harford County is 24025.  Once a radio is properly programed, its owner will receive all National Weather Service (NWS) watches, advisories, and warnings that are issued for their jurisdiction. These radios also provide continuous weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service forecast office.

Hazard Alert Radio


A NOAA Hazard Alert Radio can broadcast official NWS forecasts, watches, advisories, warnings, and other hazard information 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Severe weather can often strike quickly, even during the early morning hours. An tone alert from a Hazard Alert Radio can mean the difference between life and death. DES strongly recommends residents to buy a Hazard Alert Radio. Just like a smoke detector, this radio can save your life.

Citizens with access and/or functional needs

Emergencies happen all the time. If you are a Harford County resident with a disability, you need to be prepared like everyone else. Also, remember when preparing your Emergency Supply Kit that you need to include any special medications or equipment necessary for your particular needs.