Plan & Prepare
Terrorism: Basic Family Preparedness
(Most of the information on this page is adapted from the American Red Cross document, “Terrorism: Preparing for the Unexpected”)
New Jerseyans experienced terrorism first hand on September 11, 2001. Those devastating acts and subsequent threats have left many people concerned about the possibility of future incidents here, and their potential impact.
The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, directed
by the Governor and in partnership with the State Police,
the Office of the Attorney General, the Office of Counter-Terrorism,
the State Department of Health and Senior Services, the Department
of Military and Veterans Affairs, and other federal, state,
and local partners, prepares for all hazards including the
many possible forms of terrorism that could threaten New
There are also things you can do to prepare for the unexpected and reduce the stress you may feel should another emergency arise. Taking action now, before a crisis takes place, can reassure you and your children that you can exert a measure of control even in the face of such events.
Many of these steps are the same ones you would take to
prepare for hurricanes, nor’easters or any other emergency. Being
ready now means you are ready for virtually any disaster
or crisis that
may affect New Jersey.
Where To Begin Preparing For Terrorism:
STEP 1: Create your Emergency Action Plan.
Follow the easy-to-use instructions in “ Your Family Disaster Plan”-pdf from the American Red Cross.
(Also available in Chinese-pdf, Korean-pdf, Spanish-pdf and Tagalog-pdf)
Choose an out-of-state contact your family members
will call or email to check on each other, should a disaster
occur. Make sure every family member has that person’s
Establish a predetermined meeting place away from your home. Having a pre-arranged place to meet can save time and minimize confusion should your home be affected or the area evacuated.
This may even be the home of a friend or relative. Be sure to include your pets in your plans, since pets are not permitted in shelters and some hotels will not accept them.
If you have Disabilities or other Special Needs, click here for more information on creating a plan that will work for you.
REMEMBER: Your Emergency Plan is not complete until you know how you will evacuate, in case you are directed to do so.
- Call your County Office of Emergency Management or local Police Department and ask for your area’s evacuation routes for all hazards.
- If you depend on public transportation, ask your County OEM or
local Police Department for details on the evacuation plans
for transit-dependent individuals.
- If you have disabilities or other special needs that might add difficulties to an evacuation or power outage: Register with your County OEM and local Police Department.
- If you have pets other than ADA assistance animals, click here. Disaster shelters cannot accept pets and you must plan accordingly.
STEP 2: Create your Emergency Supplies Kit.
Follow the easy-to-use instructions in “ Your Family Disaster Supplies Kit”-pdf from the American Red Cross.
(Also available in Cambodian-pdf, Chinese-pdf, Korean-pdf, Spanish-pdf, Tagalog-pdf and Vietnamese-pdf).
If you are advised to evacuate your home or to “shelter in place,” having these essential supplies on hand will make you and your family more comfortable.
In addition, the battery-powered radio will help you stay aware of emergency information and official instructions, even if the power goes out.
Similar instructions on creating your Emergency Action Plan
and Emergency Supply Kit can also be found:
STEP 3: Check on the School Emergency Plan of your child’s school.
You need to know if they will keep children at school until a designated adult can pick them up, or if they will send them home on their own.
Be sure the school has updated information on how to reach parents and responsible caregivers to arrange pickup.
Ask what type of authorization the school may require to release a child to someone you designate, in case you are not able to pick up your child. During times of emergency, school phones may be overwhelmed with calls.
You should also learn about the disaster plans in place for your community, your workplace and other areas where you and your family spend time. For information on your community, call your County Office of Emergency Management or local Police Department.
STEP 4: Financial preparedness.
For further information, download the documents at the American Red Cross page on Preparing Financially for a Disaster.
STEP 5: General Readiness
Finally, follow these steps to maintain a state of readiness throughout the year:
- Know the local radio and TV stations you will tune into for emergency alerts and official instructions. If unsure, call your county Office of Emergency Management or local Police Department.
- A battery-powered radio is a vital part of your Emergency Kit.
- Learn about the emergency plans for your area, including evacuation routes and any alert signals that will be used in addition to local radio and TV. Call your county Office of Emergency Management or local Police Department for details.
- Be sure to register with your County OEM and local Police Department know if you have disabilities or other special needs that would add difficulties to an evacuation or power outage.
- Make sure your Emergency Kit is fully supplied, and make sure you and your family know the details of your Emergency Action Plan.
- It is always a good idea to keep at least a half-tank of gas in your car.
- Make sure your home is stocked with emergency food and water supplies.
NEXT: If Disaster Strikes: Preparing to EVACUATE or SHELTER IN PLACE
THEN: Additional Positive Steps You Can Take
LAST: Links for further information on Emergency Preparedness
Threats & Emergencies