September is Nat’l Preparedness Month: Do You Have a Plan?

Posted on September 18, 2017

You get ready for a lot of things in life, shouldn’t emergencies be one of them? During an emergency, it is easy to feel helpless. The best strategy to handle emergency situations is to prepare for the unexpected to the best of your ability.

If a disaster strikes in your community, you may not have access to food, water or electricity for several days. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately half of U.S. adults do not have the resources and plans in place for a potential emergency.  Sitting down and developing a communication plan with your family and preparing emergency supply kits can help make emergencies less stressful.

September is National Preparedness Month and a good time to plan with your family what you would need should you have to leave your home or stay at home, also known as sheltering in place, due to a hurricane or another disaster. This year’s campaign is titled “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.” It is a call to action to think ahead and look beyond batteries and flashlights when making emergency preparedness plans for family members and pets.

“The goal of National Preparedness Month is to encourage Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies throughout the year,” said Freeholder Patricia L Walsh, public health and safety liaison. “In New Jersey, hurricane season runs through November, but other disasters can happen at any time. That is why being prepared is essential.

“Recent events in Texas are a stark reminder of how devastating hurricanes can be,” she said.  “We can’t plan for every contingency, but we can minimize the effects of a disaster with careful planning and communication with loved ones.”

At the county level, National Preparedness Month is being promoted by the Somerset County Public Health & Safety Department, which includes the Department of Health and the Office of Emergency Management (OEM).

The Department of Health and OEM want to share the following information to ensure that residents take necessary steps now to prepare for an emergency:

  • Gather emergency supplies, including at least a three-day supply of food and water, health supplies, personal-care items, safety supplies, electronics and important documents.
  • Make a plan of how you will contact loved ones and what steps you would take in different emergency situations.
  • Stay informed:  Sign up for local emergency alerts and tune into reliable news sources.

Emergency communication plans for parents, kids and those travelling between work and home are available at www.ready.gov/make-a-plan. Important information can be filled in before printing or emailing to family and friends.

Knowing about emergency plans at places where your family spends time such as work, daycare, school, faith organizations and sports events is a good idea too. To learn more, go to www.ready.gov/plan-for-locations.

For more information about National Preparedness Month, contact Ben Strong of the Somerset County Department of Health at (908) 231-7155 or HealthDept@co.somerset.nj.us.

For information about emergency preparedness, visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Ready Campaign at www.ready.gov and the New Jersey Department of Health at www.state.nj.us/health/er.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be focusing on specific communities of preparedness weekly at emergency.cdc.gov/npm/index.asp

To stay up to date with Somerset County events and information, sign up for free email alerts at www.co.somerset.nj.us/subscribe or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

To stay up to date with Montgomery Township events and information, sign up for Township Ebulletins (type in box at right) or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Source: Somerset County Office of Information