Prepare Because You Care - Citizen Emergency Preparedness Training

Are you prepared for the next emergency? The Harford County Department of Emergency Services (DES) wants to help!  

When it comes to emergencies and disasters, it's not a question of IF, but WHEN. The demands placed upon our first responders increase dramatically during an emergency and their ability to respond quickly can be significantly impacted. Additionally, the next emergency may cause power to be out for an extended period of time.

To better prepare our communities, Harford County has developed the Prepare Because You Care (PBYC) citizen training class. PBYC is designed to address preparedness for a wide-range of disasters and emergency situations. PBYC classes are free of charge and are offered multiple times each year at different locations around Harford County.
We have had four separate offerings of PBYC in 2016 and we plan to offer four more in 2017! Our next PBYC class will begin in March 2017...stay tuned!

You may want to consider the following questions regarding your personal preparedness: 

  • Do I have an emergency supply kit?
  • Do I have drinking water (one gallon per person/per day for at least three days)?
  • Do I have a working radio and flashlight with fresh batteries?
  • Do I have extra medications on hand and do I have extra supplies for my pets?
  • Will my neighbor's with functional and special needs require assistance? 
  • Can my family be self-sufficient for 72 hours or longer?
  • Do I have the correct type of fire extinguisher and do I know how to use it properly?
  • What actions can I take to prevent crime in my community?
  • Do I know the basic steps in helping to save a life?
If you are unsure about the answers to any of these questions, we invite you to attend 

The PBYC program consists of one 2-hour class per week for four weeks (all class sessions will begin at 7 PM and will end around 9 PM). The classes are normally held on Wednesday evenings. The class syllabus is as follows:

Class #1: DES and Emergency Preparedness 101 (2 hours)
  • What is Emergency Management?  
  • What public safety roles does the Department of Emergency Services fulfill?
  • Maryland’s disaster history and an introduction to natural and man-made hazards
  • Assembling a disaster readiness kit
  • Basic cybersecurity in the home
Class #2: Fire Safety and Basic First Aid (2 hours)
  • Learn fire types and how it occurs
  • An introduction to the different types of fire extinguishers and how to operate one
  • Fire risk and prevention
  • Basic first aid techniques: assessing a patient, checking vital signs, recognizing trouble, seeking help, controlling bleeding, caring for various medical conditions, etc. 
Class #3: Crime Prevention/Awareness (2 hours)
  • Overview of the Harford County Sheriff's Office (HCSO)
  • Learn how to recognize suspicious activity and how to report it to 911
  • Learn personal safety techniques (e.g. walking and driving)
  • Learn steps to protect your home against break-ins
  • Learn about the “Neighborhood Watch” program and how to implement it in your neighborhood
Class #4: Cardiopulminary Resucitation (CPR) Certification Class and use of an External Automated Defibrillator (AED) (2 hours)
  • Learn current CPR protocols for adults, children, and infants and receive a two-year CPR certification! 
  • Learn how to use an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED)
  • Learn how to assist someone who may be choking. 
The four-week PBYC Program will conclude at the end of Class #4 with a brief “graduation” and the presentation of completion certificates.

Since many of the PBYC offerings may be held at locations other than the DES building, an optional 5th week has been added to provide class participants with a tour of the Harford County DES building that includes the Harford County 911 Communications and Dispatch Center and Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

If you have any questions about this program or are interested in signing up for the next class, please contact:

Steven M. Welzant, CEM
Office phone: 410-588-5739 or email.