The Division of Public Health Preparedness and Response Services (DPHPRS) has the responsibility of assisting in the preparation of residents and institutions for environmental and man-made emergencies and disasters. The office also assists in establishing local priorities and protocols for emergencies that occur with or without warning. The DPHPRS works in coordination with The Charles County Department of Emergency Services, Maryland State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, The Department of Homeland Security, FEMA and The Centers for Disease Control.

A disaster can strike quickly, without warning, causing you to evacuate your home or forcing you to take shelter in your home. Whether you face a hurricane, tornado or bioterrorism threat it is essential that you are prepared.

Emergency preparedness involves a number of basic strategies:

  • Developing a Disaster Plan – is a necessity for safely surviving an emergency or disaster. From preparing a disaster kit to emergency phone numbers to pet care it is essential that everyone in your family know and practice the disaster plan.
  • Sheltering in place – this involves remaining in your residence, worksite or school. During sudden emergency cases this may entail remaining at the location you happen to be located at when the emergency occurs. This may be a business, the mall, a supermarket or the spa.
  • Evacuation– involves leaving a specific area. Distance of evacuation is dependent upon the type of emergency. There are specific precautions that need to be followed when evacuating an area.

If you see an emergency or hear the threat of an emergency it is best to call 911. Following an emergency let the professionals – police, fire, medical services, EMS, National Guard, etc. respond. In certain instances the normal response systems may be temporarily overloaded. If you have special training, you may be able to assist in emergency response. In some emergencies donating blood is an excellent way to save lives. Another way of assisting during an emergency is helping people with disabilities.

CERT – Community Emergency Response Teams may assist emergency response professionals when systems are temporarily overloaded. See what is involved in being a trained volunteer.

Charles County Public Schools is proactive in the area of emergency preparedness. Each school and building, as well as the system as a whole, has an emergency plan that deals with different situations and emergency management.

Types of Emergencies

For further information call: 301-609-6900.