Emergency Planning

Emergency planning is one of most important parts of emergency management. Emergency planning is the process of identifying potential hazards and assessing our readiness for those hazards. Harford County adheres to the National Incident Management System (NIMS) for incident operations and also includes provisions for citizens with functional needs and pets.  This is completed with all four phases of emergency management in mind: preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation.

The first and most critical part of the Emergency Preparedness and Planning Branch's mission is the development and maintenance of the Harford County Emergency Operations Plan, which is a comprehensive outline of Harford County's response to any emergency or disaster.


Harford County Emergency Operations Plan (EOP)


The Harford County EOP is a comprehensive planning document that outlines Harford County's response to an emergency or disaster. The EOP breaks an emergency down into its most basic components and divides them into annexes (i.e. Alert and Warning Annex, Direction and Control Annex, Mass Care and Sheltering Annex, etc.) and assigns roles and responsibilities to the appropriate departments and agencies. The EOP is reviewed and updated on an annual basis. 

Hazard-Specific Appendices


As a part of the EOP, hazard-specific appendices have also been developed to outline response actions for specific hazards.  These appendices include hazards associated with radiological emergencies at the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, Terrorism Incident Response, Hazardous Materials, Dams, Severe Weather, and Pandemic Influenza.

Specific Plans


Ancillary planning documents have also been developed to support the EOP and include areas such as evacuation, long-term recovery, continuity of operations, hazard mitigation, and commodity distribution. 

Exercises and Training


The Emergency Preparedness and Planning Branch also develops/maintains an all-hazard comprehensive exercise and training program. Participation in drills/exercises and all-hazard emergency management training allows the Department of Emergency Services, first responders, and other local and state government departments and agency staff to become familiar with the EOP. Many of our drills and exercises are supported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).