2017 News Release

Colonel Rick Fuentes
Superintendent, New Jersey State Police
State Director of Emergency Management
Major David Brady
Commanding Officer, Emergency Management

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 13, 2017
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
NJOEM: Laura Connolly (609) 462-6925

September is National Preparedness Month


West Trenton, NJ - September is National Preparedness Month and this year’s theme of “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.” will focus on planning. We should all take action to prepare! We are all able to help first responders in our community by training how to respond during an emergency and what to do when disaster strikes — where we live, work, and visit. The goal of National Preparedness Month is to increase the overall number of individuals, families, and communities that engage in preparedness actions at home, work, business, school, and place of worship.  As New Jersey nears the Fifth Anniversary of Superstorm Sandy our New Jersey Task Force One, having just returned from Texas on deployment to assist the Hurricane Harvey response, is once again deployed to assist the Hurricane Irma response.  It is a reminder that Hurricane Season is still in full swing. The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (NJOEM) is reminding New Jersey residents that the time to prepare is now, not the day of a disaster.

New Jersey State Police Superintendent and State Director of Emergency Management Colonel Rick Fuentes stressed the importance of connecting the public with reliable information sources to further assist them in their individual preparedness plans. "New Jersey continues to experience a variety of incidents. As we approach the First Anniversary of the Seaside Park and New York City Bombings, we are reminded to not only be prepared for natural hazards but man-made hazards as well,” Col. Fuentes. “These events have taught us that awareness and preparedness save lives. We encourage everyone to prepare today. Make time with your family to build a kit, a go-bag and create a communication plan. Tune in, log-on, opt-in, 'like' or 'follow' state, county, local and federal agencies for credible disaster-related information such as alerts and warnings, situational awareness updates, and where to find help. Personal connections matter, too. After you've completed your household preparedness activities, lend a hand to someone who may need assistance, or join the 27,000 New Jerseyans who have completed Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training."

A list of New Jersey’s County Offices of Emergency Management, with social media and local alert system links, can be found on our newly redesigned New Jersey Office of Emergency Management Website: ready.nj.gov.
NJOEM also recommends specific emergency preparedness actions:

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, pet 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. While gathering your emergency kit, pack a go-bag for your family as well. Your family go-bag should be something such as a duffle bag or gym bag that is easily accessible so you can grab it and go in the event that a fireman or police officer knocks on your door and tells you to evacuate immediately. These bags should include items such as prescription medication, food, water, extra clothing, and copies of important documents and phone numbers to get you through the first few critical days. For information on how to put a family emergency kit together, visit ready.nj.gov/plan-prepare/your-kit-plan.shtml.

Make an emergency plan. Make plans with family and friends in case you're not together when any type of emergency – natural, technological or man-made - 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 ready.nj.gov/plan-prepare/your-kit-plan.shtml. Pets are family too! Be sure to include them in your emergency plans by visiting animalemergency.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: ready.nj.gov/cert/index.shtml

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

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

  • National Weather Service NJ is covered by two different weather stations: Mount Holly, NJ for most of the State and Upton, NY for the NE part of the State. For Northeast NJ residents and commuters to/from New York City, please visit: www.weather.gov/okx/. For the rest of New Jersey please visit: www.weather.gov/phi/.
  • National Hurricane Center - www.nhc.noaa.gov
  • NJOEM - ready.nj.gov
  • ReadyNJ Updates Blog: readynj.wordpress.com
  • NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness: www.njhomelandsecurity.gov
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Emergency Preparedness Page: http://emergency.cdc.gov/
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency: www.fema.gov
  • Register Ready: RegisterReady.nj.gov - New Jersey’s Special Needs Registry for Disasters allows NJ residents with disabilities or access and functional needs and their families, friends and associates an opportunity to provide information to emergency response agencies, so emergency responders can better plan to serve them in a disaster or other emergency. The information collected here is confidential and will not be available to the public. The information will be held securely and only used for emergency response and planning.

Social Media - Social media and other advanced communications technologies are used by NJOEM 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
  • CMAS -the Community Mobile Alert System - this nationwide system is now being used 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. http://nws.noaa.gov/nwr/

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To stay informed about disasters and emergencies in New Jersey via social media, follow the NJOEM on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram or get email and text message alerts via www.Nixle.com.