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Emergency Preparedness and Fire Safety

About ODHH

Be Prepared

Emergency preparedness involves planning for disaster before it happens. Make sure you know what dangers affect the communities where you live, work, and play and that you make a plan for when an emergency or disaster happens.

3 Steps to Being Prepared for an Emergency

Emergency kit

Creating an emergency plan that is right for you is a three-step process:

There are many resources available both locally and nationally to help you develop a plan and gather supplies.

Fire Safety

People who are Deaf or hard of hearing can use alarms with strobe (flashing) lights or vibrating alarms. Most major smoke alarm companies offer alarms with strobe lights.

If you live in a rental housing, Maryland law requires your landlord to provide a visual smoke detector upon request if you are Deaf or hard of hearing. In Public Safety Article 9-102 (b)(6), the law reads:

On written request of a tenant who is deaf or hearing impaired, the landlord shall provide a smoke detector that, when activated, provides a signal that:
(i) is approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory for electrical appliances; and
(ii) is sufficient to warn the deaf or hearing impaired tenant.

Maryland Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Resources


Virtual Directory NEW!

Policies & Resource Guides

Policy: Sign Language Interpreter Specifications for Emergency Broadcasts
Resource Guide: Assistive Technology 

Community Resources


Fire and Burn Safety Coalition of Maryland
Maryland Department of Disabilities: Be Prepared (State of Maryland)
Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) (State of Maryland)

Out of State

American Red Cross

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Emergency Preparedness and Response Videos (in ASL and Voice for selected videos) with Scripts for all videos

Department of Homeland Security

Emergency E-mail and Wireless Network: Register for Emergency Alerts
Emergency Management Ontario: Preparing Your Family for an Emergency Video (with ASL and Voice)

Federal Emergency Management Agency

National Fire Protection Association

National Weather Service

Northeast Texas Public Health District: 18 Emergency Preparedness Topics Videos (with ASL, Voice, and Captioning)