Community Hazard Analysis

Table of Content

The Maryland Emergency Management Bureau was established by the Maryland parliament to ensure that the state is prepared to handle extensive emergencies. The bureau is responsible for coordinating the state’s response in any major disaster, including supporting local administrations as needed. It is part of the military department and under the control of the adjutant general. During times of calamities, the governor may take full control of the bureau, and in such situations, the director must report directly to them (Maryland Crisis Control Bureau, 2009).

During periods of calamity, the director stimulates the National Crisis Action Center to support local administrations as needed. Representatives from state departments, central government agencies, personnel divisions, and volunteer associations are also present in the State Emergency Operations Center. They have the power to distribute resources and finance essential for emergency response. Once the governor announces a state of emergency, the Maryland Emergency Bureau works with the central government bureau to request a presidential disaster declaration. The goal is to provide assistance to victims (Haddow & Bullock, 2006).

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The Maryland Bureau synchronizes several federal agendas, including homeland security grants, crisis control funding, and mitigation and recovery agendas. For example, in 2005 the bureau coordinated with the Chemical Stock Emergency Preparedness Agenda to neutralize mustard gas stored at Aberdeen Proving Grounds. The bureau’s power emanates from Article 14 of Maryland’s policy. Through mitigation efforts, the bureau aims to minimize and eliminate harmful effects of future calamities. The agency uses National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather satellites to track storms and devise mechanisms for protecting communities from potential storms. Weather satellites are the primary source of weather information, predictions, and warnings for the United States (Baltimore Metropolis Wellbeing Section, 2007).

Hurricanes are not common in Maryland, although sometimes people sustain damage and fatalities from the tropical storms that come after their occurrence. Storms such as Agnes in 1972, Floyd in 1999, and Isabel in 2003 are examples of storms that occurred after hurricanes had emerged. Such types of rainstorms cause floods, coastal storm surge, wind damage and lead to tornadoes and thunderstorms. Power failure is a result of such hurricanes.

In Maryland, it is advisable for residents to check their insurance policies before hurricane season. This ensures that people are covered from flood destruction. Buildings, structures, seawalls together with overpasses should also be covered. People living in coastal regions should put together their disaster supplies kit while drains and downspouts should be eliminated as trees and shrubs are trimmed.

During a storm, people need to stay tuned to the radio and TV for official weather information. They should follow the guidance and orders specified by crisis officers. If living in mobile homes, they should leave and keep away from windows and entrances, even if covered. All internal doors should be closed while securing and reinforcing external entrances. Inhabitants must not leave during the height of the storm. Refrigerators should be turned to their maximum cold setting, while large bathtubs and containers should be filled with water (Weill Medical College, 2004).

Internal flooding can pose a significant threat to communities located several kilometers away from the coast. These floods are caused by intense rainfall from enormous tropical air masses. In 2001, Tropical Storm Allison produced extremely heavy rainfall and floods in the Houston, Texas region. The storm gained subtropical properties and continued to generate heavy rainfall and floods along the path from Louisiana eastward to North Carolina. The rainstorms persisted.

Heading northward along the U.S. East Coast to Massachusetts, approximately forty-one deaths were accounted for in the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd in 1999. The estimated cost of destruction, according to the Federal Crisis Management Agency, was nearly five billion dollars. This hurricane generated strong precipitation and recorded torrential rainfall on the eastern U.S., resulting in fifty-six fatalities with fifty people drowning due to inland flooding.

In 1994, Tropical Rainstorm Alberto drifted towards southeast U.S., generating torrential rainfall that led to thirty-three drownings and damages surpassing 750 dollars. Tropical Claudette in 1979 caused damage of more than 600 million dollars while Hurricane Agnes in 1972 produced floods that resulted in the death of 122 persons and damages worth $6.4 billion in northeast U.S.

Freshwater floods caused more than half (59%) of all U.S deaths according to Maryland Crisis Control Bureau (2009).

Maryland is prone to flooding from numerous diverse sources. Flash floods have a tendency to emanate from short heavy rainfall periods, impacting small watercourses and rivulets. General flooding comes from prolonged steady rain and affects large streams and rivers. Major rivers such as the Potomac and Susquehanna frequently reach flood stages due to distant regions of their watershed. Hurricanes and tropical storms cause surges that establish tidal flooding along Maryland’s bays and tributaries.

Flooding in Maryland has caused some of the worst disasters. From 1995 to 1996, several major floods led to two disaster declarations. The rules applied here are easy where floods are a concern: simply ensure an individual is insured and go to higher ground. Torrents can happen anywhere, including on higher ground.

Before a flood occurs, it’s important to ensure that insurance policies cover floods. Move equipment and valuables to higher regions or floors as water rises, keep the car tank full in case of evacuation, stay informed about weather situations through media outlets, and don’t drive via torrential paths.

After a flood, never take anything that was in contact with torrent water; follow officials’ instructions; clean electrical appliances before utilizing them; report destroyed utilities.

Snowfalls vary greatly in Maryland. Garrett County gets much more snow than the lower eastern shores. The heaviest recorded snowfall in Central Maryland was during the three-day President’s Day weekend storm in 2003, which brought over 32 inches of snow to the region. However, Maryland is susceptible to rapid warm-ups following major rainstorms, resulting in flooding issues. Maryland also experiences hail and cold rain, and extreme cold presents health problems for the ill, elderly, infants, and homeless individuals.

Snowfalls can cause power outages, loss of heat and communication services. It is advisable to have a flashlight with extra batteries on hand and stay tuned to battery-powered nationwide ocean and environmental administration radio for emergency updates. Additionally, it is recommended to have extra food, water, medication and infant supplies available as well as first aid supplies and heating fuel.

For those traveling by vehicle or truck it is important to plan ahead by checking the latest weather conditions information to avoid getting caught in a storm (Arthur et al., 1999).

Maryland’s diverse geography and location on the East Coast make it prone to numerous natural disasters. While seismic activity is not common in Maryland, numerous earthquakes have hit the state in the last decade, although no harm has been reported. Although floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes account for much greater yearly loss in the United States, severe earthquakes pose the largest danger in terms of sudden loss of life and property. There are many interconnected issues that determine the extent of property damage and loss of life. A greater amount of seismic energy released poses greater destruction while a long period of trembling causes damage as well. Tremors strike abruptly, aggressively and without warning; therefore it is important to identify potential disasters before they occur by repairing deep plaster cracks in upper roofing and floors, tying up shelves firmly to walls with heavy items on lower shelves for balance support overhead illumination fittings, finding a secure place inside or outside such as under strong furnishings or next to interior walls away from glass which can break.

Maryland has a dense population, and as a result, fires threaten more structures and human life. If a fire incident occurs, evacuate pets and non-essential family members from the home. Those with medical or physical restrictions, as well as the young and elderly, should be evacuated immediately. Remove combustibles such as wood piles, outdoor furniture, and barbecue grills from within the house and shift them to a defensible space. Review escape routes for all residents (Baltimore City Health Department, 2007).

Thunderstorms can emerge unexpectedly, much like earthquakes, and present a number of hazards, such as power outages. These storms typically affect Maryland in late spring, summer or early fall when cold and warm air masses collide. Every year, lightning kills 80-100 people and injures hundreds more. It is important to stay aware of weather predictions at all times and cancel outdoor activities if thunderstorms are likely.

The Office of Public Health Awareness and Response works in conjunction with central, state, and local authorities to develop strategies and regulations for preparing for and responding to public health crises. These may include bioterrorist incidents, natural disasters, or disease outbreaks. The office also collaborates with healthcare facilities and academic partners in Maryland to coordinate responses during crises while conducting outreach programs that educate the public about crisis awareness.

Bioterrorism causes sickness, and the U.S. communal health system along with primary healthcare providers are prepared to tackle a variety of biological agents and other pathogens that are seldom found in the United States. High-priority agents comprise organisms that pose a threat to State safety as they can be transmitted from person to person, result in high death rates, and have the potential for significant communal wellbeing impact. These agents cause communal fright, social disruption, and require extraordinary action for public wellbeing awareness. Examples of such agents and diseases include anthrax, botulism, plague, smallpox, tularemia, viral hemorrhagic fevers and arenaviruses.The next uppermost main concern agents comprise those that are fairly easy to propagate causing reasonable morbidity tolls but low death tolls requiring specific enhancements of diagnostic capability and disease observation. The causatives include brucellosis, epsilon poison of Clostridium as well as foodstuff security intimidations such as Salmonella species. Others on this list include glanders, melioidosis and psittacosis along with Q fever ricin toxin and water security intimidations.The third main concern comprises viruses that can be…

The available agents, such as infectious diseases like Nipah virus and Hantavirus, are being manipulated for future collection and propagation purposes (Arthur et al., 1999).

The preparation and planning of bioterrorism includes informing during the initial hours. The first hour’s project offers messages and other resources for central, national, and local public health officials to use during a crisis reaction. The CDC Crisis MedKit provides an overview of the Crisis MedKit evaluation study. This was premeditated to assess a strategy that addresses the timeliness of distributing antibiotics and other medical services to the general public. Community-Based Mass Prophylaxis is a planning guide for communal wellbeing awareness. The guide helps state, county, and local officers meet central necessities to get ready for communal wellbeing crises. It addresses dispensing processes using a comprehensive operational structure for dispensing and vaccination centers based on the National Incident Management System (Maryland State School, 2006).


Maryland Crisis Control Bureau (2009) provides information on Emergency Management. The website was retrieved on March 10, 2009.

Maryland Emergency Management Agency

Baltimore City Health Department (2007) offers information on Crisis Awareness and Reaction. To access this resource, please visit the following link:

Emergency Services

Weill Medical College (2004). Healthcare Research & Excellence, Baltimore: Cornell University, pp. 98-95.

Bullock D. and Haddow S. (2006) outlined six steps for hazard analysis in their book, which can be found on pages 88-90. The book was published by Pocket Books in New York.

Arthur, S., Robin, A., Beverly, J., and Jianghong, M. (1999). Use of Danger Scrutiny Critical Management Point and Alternative Treatments. Baltimore: Maryland. pp. 134-138.

Maryland State School (2006) published a model policy for an emergency plan for school nurses, which can be found on pages 123-130.

Baltimore is located in Maryland.

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Community Hazard Analysis. (2016, Sep 11). Retrieved from

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