Christie Administration Promotes Readiness Measures
During National Preparedness Month
Hazard Awareness, Household Preparedness and Community Connections are Key to Disaster Planning
WEST TRENTON, N.J. - As the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy approaches, Christie Administration officials remind New Jersey residents of the importance of formulating emergency preparedness measures to protect home and family. Plans should address all types of hazards, including those that can occur without advance warning and focus on maintaining awareness about adverse conditions, preparing households, and connecting with family members and neighbors about what to do during potential disaster scenarios.
New Jersey State Police Superintendent and State Director of Emergency Management Colonel Rick Fuentes stressed the importance of connecting with information sources, and with other community members. “Our Sandy experiences inform the advice we give today - awareness and preparedness saves lives. We urge everyone to 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.”
Edward Dickson, Director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (OHSP), said taking steps now to be better prepared for future emergencies will help save lives. "Ensuring our citizens, businesses and communities are prepared for any type of emergency remains a New Jersey homeland security priority. Being prepared also includes taking measures to ensure cyber safety because cyber threats are real and constantly evolving.”
Residents can visit the New Jersey Office of Information Technology’s Info Secure website at http://www.nj.gov/njinfosecure/ for additional information on cyber safety tips.
Inclusive preparedness strategies that focus on older adults and people with disabilities are also important in preparing for emergencies. “We encourage individuals with disabilities and their caregivers to have an emergency plan – and a backup – to ensure their safety and continuity of care during a disaster,” said Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez. “It is also recommended that individuals with disabilities register online with www.registerready.nj.gov so that law enforcement and first responders can find and help evacuate them if necessary.”
According to New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Mary E. O’Dowd health-related matters need specific attention when preparing for a disaster, especially when evacuations might be recommended. "It's important for New Jersey residents to be prepared for all emergencies ahead of time. I encourage all residents to think about their health needs when they are preparing their emergency kits,” Commissioner O’Dowd said. “Individuals should pack supplies for a week, including over-the-counter and prescription medications and contact numbers for physicians. Those who require the use of medical devices should have a contingency plan in the event of power outages.”
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 a comprehensive list of how to put a family emergency plan together, visit www.ready.nj.gov.
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 a comprehensive list of how to put a family emergency kit together, visit www.ready.nj.gov
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: http://www.state.nj.us/njoem/citizen/cert.html
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 and the National Hurricane Center regarding storm predictions and forecasts.
Social Media - Social media and other advanced communications technologies are used by the OEM and by emergency managers statewide.
Alerts - Mobile / Text (SMS) & E-Mail
- NIXLE - Subscribe to the NJ State Police (NJSP) on Nixle Connect at http://local.nixle.com/new-jersey-state-police/. 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 www.nixle.com
- 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: www.njalert.gov.
- CMAS - the Community Mobile Alert System - the National Weather Service uses CMAS to transmit weather warnings. A cell phone must be WEA (Wireless Emergency Alert) enabled to receive these messages, check the make/model of your phone. Read about WEA alerts here: http://www.erh.noaa.gov/lwx/WEA/WEA.php
- 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. http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/