September Is ‘National Preparedness Month’
Disasters are a Reality, Be Prepared
SOMERVILLE – Are you prepared for an emergency? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately half of U.S. adults do not have resources or plans in place for a potential emergency. If a disaster strikes in your community, you may not have access to food, water or electricity for several days, but being prepared can lessen the impact if this occurs.
“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, health department liaison. “In New Jersey our hurricane season is a concern, but other disasters can happen at any time. That’s why being prepared is essential.
“The devastating hurricanes in 2017 are a stark reminder how important it is to prepare for a disaster. We can’t plan for every contingency, but we can minimize how we and our families are affected by a disaster through careful planning and communicating with loved ones,” she said.
Even if you do not yet have an emergency plan, it is never too late to develop one. Since September is National Preparedness Month, this is a great time to start preparing. If you ever have to evacuate or “shelter in place” at your home, creating a communication plan with your family, and making emergency supply kits for both situations is one way to start the preparation process.
This year’s National Preparedness campaign “Prepare Your Health,” encourages people to think beyond batteries and flashlights when preparing. Items such as medication, first-aid supplies, canned food, pet food, etc. are important considerations when developing an emergency preparedness kit that is tailored to your family’s healthcare needs.
National Preparedness Month and “Prepare Your Health” are being promoted by the Somerset County Public Health & Safety Department, in conjunction with the Department of Health and the Office of Emergency Management (OEM). As advocates for emergency preparedness, they urge residents and businesses to focus on staying healthy, informed, and in contact with others during an emergency. To ensure that residents take the necessary steps to prepare for an emergency they suggest the following:
- Gather emergency supplies including a minimum three-day supply of food and water, as well as, health supplies, personal-care items, safety supplies, electronics and important documents.
- Create a plan for how to communicate with loved ones, and adapt your contingency plan to different situations.
- Stay informed by signing up for local emergency alerts and listening to reliable news sources.
- Make sure that your plan includes important and accurate information before you send it to family and friends.
- Knowing about emergency plans for places where your family spends time such as work, daycare, school, faith organizations and sports events is very important.
For more information about being prepared for a disaster, and to obtain a sample emergency plan visit www.ready.gov, the New Jersey Department of Health www.state.nj.us/health/er and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://emergency.cdc.gov/