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Hazards refer to events that threaten people, property, or the environment.

Types of hazards

Natural disasters

Hazards fall into two categories–natural and human-caused. The types of hazards that are possible here in Washington County could occur at a moment's notice, like an earthquake, or with enough time to undertake preparedness actions, like an influenza outbreak. Additionally, some hazards are seasonal, like winter storms. Here at Washington County Emergency Management, we are passionate about teaching people about the types of hazards we face, and how to be prepared for them.

Many types of hazards are possible in Washington County. Natural hazards include weather and climate-related hazards such as winter storms, windstorms, prolonged heat waves, droughts, and, occasionally, severe thunderstorms. Other natural hazards include floods, earthquakes, landslides, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, and disease outbreaks. Human-caused hazards include utility and infrastructure failures, hazardous materials releases, transportation incidents, terrorism, cyber attacks, and dam failures.


More information about some of our most threatening, frequently occurring, and highest risk hazards may be found on this website. For hazards not specifically covered by this website, visit, a comprehensive hazard and preparedness information website.

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