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Household Plans and Social Connections are the Keys to Individual/Family Disaster Planning

September 16, 2014 (rt23 news) - West Trenton, NJ - September is National Preparedness Month and Christie Administration officials are reminding New Jersey residents about the importance of developing emergency plans to protect home and family.

New Jersey State Police Superintendent and State Director of Emergency Management Colonel Rick Fuentes stressed the importance of linking to credible information sources, and connecting with community members to aid in the overall disaster preparedness effort. "Our State’s experiences with Sandy, numerous winter storms, hazardous materials incidents, and other events teaches us that awareness and preparedness saves lives. Tune in, log-on, opt-in, ’like’ or ’follow’ state, county, local and federal agencies for credible disaster-relation information such as alerts and warnings, situational awareness updates, and where to find help. Personal connections matter, too. After you’ve finished your household preparedness activities, lend a hand to someone who may need assistance, or join the 20,000 New Jerseyans who’ve completed Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training."

A list of New Jersey’s County Offices of Emergency Management, with social media and local alert systems links, can be found on the NJ Office of Emergency Management website.

"New Jersey has experienced firsthand the damage caused by powerful storms and hurricanes and we are committed to reminding our residents and our businesses to be prepared for these types of weather emergencies" said Chris Rodriguez, New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness Director.

Department of Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez underscored the needs of older adults and people with disabilities. "There’s no such thing as preparing too much. The Department of Human Services continues to raise awareness about the need to be ready for a disaster and its aftermath,’ Velez said. “Our Division of Deaf and Hard of Hearing recently completed a video featuring American Sign Language to help the DDHH community prepare for emergencies and evacuations. We encourage all people with access and functional needs to sign up with Register Ready - New Jersey’s Special Needs Registry for Disasters to make sure emergency personnel know where they are and what their needs will be."

New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Mary E. O’Dowd, emphasized the importance of planning for emergencies before they occur and "encourages everyone to prepare an emergency kit that includes water, non-perishable food, over-the-counter and prescription medication, extra eyeglasses, a first-aid kit and contact numbers for health care providers."

She also recommends that families create and practice their emergency plans, get involved by taking a first-aid or CPR course or joining their local Medical Reserve Corps unit and to stay informed during all emergencies. To sign up for the Medical Reserve Corps, please visit

To help families prepare for public health emergencies, the New Jersey Department of Health has a guide called “Ready Together, New Jersey.” It is available on the Department of Health website at and at local and county health agencies statewide. It is available in English and Spanish.

State officials also recommended specific emergency preparedness actions:

Make an emergency plan. Make plans with family and friends in case you’re not together when any type of emergency – natural, technological or civil - occurs. Discuss how you will contact each other, where you will meet and what you will do in different situations. Become familiar with your town’s evacuation routes. For information on how to put a family emergency plan together, visit

Make an emergency kit: Emergency kits will allow individuals and families to survive several days without access to food, water or electricity. Emergency kits should include at least a three to five day supply of non-perishable food and water, prescription medications for up to two weeks if available, baby supplies and any additional items for special medical needs such as an extra pair of eye glasses and batteries for hearing aids. Your kit should also include important phone numbers for doctors as well as car cell-phone chargers. For information on how to put a family emergency kit together, visit

When your family plan and kit are complete, consider taking it to next level by attending Community Emergency Response Team training. Information about CERT training can be found on the NJOEM website:

Stay informed: The NJOEM recommends the following ways to stay informed about emergencies:

On the Web – Use credible websites to get information about natural hazards and emergency preparedness. The NJOEM works closely with the National Weather Service, the Federal Emergency Management Agency regarding forecasts and other important disaster news.

National Weather Service -
National Hurricane Center -
ReadyNJ Alerts & Updates Blog:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Emergency Preparedness Page:
Federal Emergency Management Agency:
Social Media - Social media and other advanced communications technologies are used by the OEM and by emergency managers statewide.

NJDOH on Twitter:
NJOEM on Facebook:
NJOEM on Twitter:
NJ State Police on Facebook:
NJ State Police on Twitter:
Alerts - Mobile / Text (SMS) & E-Mail

NIXLE - Subscribe to the NJ State Police (NJSP) on Nixle Connect at New Jersey residents can register to receive messages by sending a text message with their zip code to 888777 (data rates may apply depending on your plan). Online registration is also available at
NJ Alert - NJ Alert is a free, voluntary and confidential emergency alerting system that allows NJ Office of Emergency Management officials to send E-mail or text messages to cell phones, and other email enabled devices during an emergency event. Sign up for NJ Alert by logging on to:
CMAS -the Community Mobile Alert System - this nationwide system is now beingused the National Weather Service to transmit urgent weather info to your cell phone. A warning means the hazard is imminent; a watch means conditions are favorable for the hazard to occur. Your cell phone must be WEA (Wireless Emergency Alert) enabled to receive these messages.
NOAA Weather Radio - is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service Office. NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts official Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. NOAA Weather Radios are typically inexpensive, readily available in stores and can often be programmed for your specific area.

Posted by: rt23 staff
September 16, 2014


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