A day after eight families were thrown out of their homes in freezing weather, Prince George's County officials said yesterday they will consider new guidelines to make evictions more humane.

However, critics said the County Council ignored similar reform recommendations delivered 10 months ago by a council-appointed task force.

"This should not have occurred," said Timothy Paulus, chief attorney of the Prince George's County Office of the Legal Aid Bureau and a member of the task force on evictions.

The lack of a uniform policy through which officials can halt evictions was graphically demonstrated Thursday when 57-year-old Ophelia Harris was removed from her Glenarden apartment, one of eight evictions that day.

Critics said the county has no set policy on notifying tenants that they are subject to be evicted and no policy on disposing of their property, although the task force convened by the council two years recommended such policies in a March report.

A 1987 Maryland law gives District Court administrative judges authority to suspend evictions under extreme weather conditions.

"The {county} delegation introduced legislation specifically for this problem. There should have been daily communication between the sheriff's office and {Chief Administrative Judge William} Missouri's office," Paulus said.

Only after inquiries by reporters into Harris' case did the office of County Executive Parris Glendening step in to stop the evictions. Harris' belongings, set on a curb outside her apartment, were picked up and stored at a county warehouse. Harris spent Thursday night at a motel at county expense and arrangements were made yesterday for her to stay temporarily at a relative's home. The county was not successful in locating the seven other families evicted from their apartments Thursday.

Tim Ayers, a spokesman for Glendening, said the executive would convene a second task force to come up with new policies on eviction proceedings, including a policy to automatically stop evictions when the weather is extreme. Prince George's has the second highest eviction rate in the state behind Baltimore. In 1987 the county received 115,000 complaints from landlords and evicted an average of 300 families a month.

"It came to us as a shock that {evictions} would be carried out in this weather," Ayers said yesterday. "One thing that should be in place is automatic guidelines when the weather gets below a certain temperature or a major storm is coming."

In the District, officials automatically suspend evictions if there is more than a 50 percent chance of rain or if the temperature is below 25 degrees.

Ayers said the county also would study an alternative to disposing of an evicted tenant's property on the street.

"To be quite candid, we were flying by the seat of our pants Thursday," Akers said.

But Paulus said the task force addressed that concern in its report. Under the recommended guidelines, tenants would be given a choice of allowing the county to store their belongings at a county building at a minimal charge or auctioning off the property.

The task force also recommended that tenants be notified when the court has issued an eviction notice and that the sheriff post a note saying when the eviction is scheduled to take place. In Harris' case, she said she did not learn of the planned eviction until the day before. A spokesman for her landlord at the Glenarden Apartments said Harris was notified by a note posted on her door Dec. 31.

Councilwoman Hilda R. Pemberton, who was chairwoman last March, said she recalled receiving the task force recommendations, but that the council took no action.

"I don't know why," she said.