Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response

Our mission is to help our community and partners be prepared to respond to all emergencies, not just public health emergencies. We investigate and identify health threats, work to get medicine and supplies where they are needed, expand medical services for large or complex incidents, and make sure people have the information they need to take action. 

Our Emergency Preparedness division works in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control, Maryland Departments of Health, Emergency Management, and Agriculture, and the Caroline County Department of Emergency Management to coordinate an effective emergency response. 

Be Prepared

Being prepared for an emergency can be the difference between life and death for your family. The good news is that getting ready to react in an emergency is easy. Visit the sites below to learn more about how to protect your family and be ready for the unexpected.


Stay Connected

Staying connected to timely and reliable information in an emergency is vital. Information like evacuation orders, shelter locations, and other emergency alerts can be accessed in a variety of ways. Take the actions below to stay connected, and don’t forget to include a battery operated or crank powered radio and external batteries for your cell phone in your emergency kit.

Public Health Threats

Influenza (Seasonal Flu)

The flu is an illness caused by a virus that can spread from person to person. The flu can cause mild to severe illness, and even death. Some of the symptoms of flu may include fever or feeling feverish, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, and fatigue. 

Different strains (or types) of flu viruses circulate each year. This is what is known as seasonal flu. In the United States, flu season can begin as early as October and last as late as the following May. 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend that everyone 6 months and older receive a yearly flu vaccine. Prompt antiviral drug treatment is also important if prescribed by your health care provider.

Learn More

Español: Influenza (gripe)

Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

Avian influenza or bird flu refers to the disease caused by infection with avian (bird) influenza (flu) Type A viruses. These viruses naturally spread among wild aquatic birds worldwide and can infect domestic poultry and other bird and animal species. Bird flu viruses do not normally infect humans. However, sporadic human infections with bird flu viruses have occurred. The links below offer more information about bird flu.

Alert: The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) working with state, regional and federal partners in response to multiple cases of High Path Avian Influenza (HPAI) on farms in Maryland and Delaware. Visit the MDA website for information on how to protect backyard flocks and information for poultry operation owners. 

CDC Information on Bird Flu

CDC Información sobre la influenza aviar


A pandemic is a disease outbreak that spans several countries and affects a large number of people. Pandemics are most often caused by viruses, like COVID-19, which can easily spread from person to person.

A new virus, like COVID-19, can emerge from anywhere and quickly spread around the world. It is hard to predict when or where the next new pandemic will emerge. The good news is that there are simple and straightforward steps that can help protect you from viruses, like washing your hands often, physical distancing, and wearing a mask.

Learn More

Pandemics Español 

Pandemi Kreyòl

Household Chemical Emergencies

Nearly every household uses products containing hazardous materials or chemicals. Knowing how to handle these products can reduce the risk of injury. Always store household chemicals out of the reach of children.

Learn More

Emergencias con productos químicos en el hogar

Extreme Heat

Extreme heat is a period of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees for at least two to three days. In extreme heat your body works extra hard to maintain a normal temperature, which can lead to death. Extreme heat is responsible for the highest number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards.

Older adults, children and sick or overweight individuals are at greater risk from extreme heat.

Learn More

Calor extremo

Chalè Ekstrèm

Winter Weather

Winter storms create a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, and heart attacks from overexertion. Winter storms including blizzards can bring extreme cold, freezing rain, snow, ice and high winds.

A winter storm can cut off heat, power and communication services and put older adults, children, sick individuals and pets at greater risk.

Learn More

Tormentas invernales

Tanperati Ivè

Home Fires

A fire can become life-threatening in just two minutes. A residence can be engulfed in flames in five minutes. It is important to know what to do before, during, and after a fire, as well as what can be done to prevent household fires. It is especially important for families with children to talk about fire safety and how to respond if there is a fire.

Learn More

Incendios en el hogar

Dife Domestik

Hazardous Materials Incidents

Hazardous materials can include explosives, flammable and combustible substances, poisons and radioactive materials. Emergencies can happen during production, storage, transportation, use or disposal. You are at risk when chemicals are used unsafely or released in harmful amounts where you live, work or play.

Learn More

Incidentes con materiales peligrosos

CPR & First Aid

Life is unpredictable and you never know when you may need to help save the life of a stranger or someone you love. Everyone can benefit from learning lifesaving skills, including CPR, First Aid, and how to operate an automated external defibrillator (AED). The Health Department encourages residents to seek out opportunities to take lifesaving training.

Search for CPR, First Aid, and AED Classes from the American Red Cross (including online options)

Safety Alerts and Recalls

Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)

The CPSC works to save lives and keep families safe by reducing the unreasonable risk of injuries and deaths associated with consumer products. It does this by issuing and enforcing mandatory standards or banning consumer products if no feasible standard would adequately protect the public; obtaining the recall of products and arranging for a repair, replacement or refund for recalled products; and researching potential product hazards.

The Caroline County Health Department’s Office of Emergency Preparedness encourages to sign up directly on the CPSC website to receive all recall alerts. You can also search for current recalls on the CPSC website.

Food and Drug Administration

The Food and Drug Administration is responsible for protecting the public health by ensuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, and medical devices; and by ensuring the safety of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation.

FDA also has responsibility for regulating the manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of tobacco products to protect the public health and to reduce tobacco use by minors.

We encourage residents to regularly check the FDA’s list of recalls, market withdraws, and safety alerts for FDA-regulated products. You can also sign up to receive this information directly to your email.

Request a Speaker on Emergency Preparedness

Our Public Health Emergency Planner is available to speak to community groups, schools, businesses, and nonprofits about the importance of protecting themselves and their loved ones by being prepared for an emergency. 
To make a request, please email Public Health Emergency Planner Tina Kintop.

Contact Information

Caroline County Health Department

Office of Emergency Preparedness
Health and Public Services Building
403 S. 7th Street
Denton, Maryland 21629

Phone: (410) 479-8030