September Is National Preparedness Month
In honor of National Preparedness Month, the Somerset County Department of Health encourages residents to make a family communications plan and update your emergency supplies now, so you are prepared for any future emergency.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 80 percent of individuals say they have gathered enough supplies to last three or more days, however, less than half said they had a family emergency plan in place. The goal of National Preparedness Month is to encourage Americans to begin planning for emergencies now and throughout the year – since pre-planning can help ease the impact of a crisis when one arises.
“One reason National Preparedness Month is held in September is because it is the start of peak hurricane season. This year has been an especially active season and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. What makes it even more challenging are concerns about COVID-19 and the need for social distancing,” said Freeholder Brian G. Gallagher. “This is why being prepared in advance is so important for families. Don’t wait until the last moment when essential supplies are scarce.”
The CDC recommends that individuals include items in their emergency supply kits that will help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, other viruses and the flu, including cloth face coverings, soaps, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes. Make sure to update your family emergency plan based on these recommendations. It is especially important for those who are more at risk to illness to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19, while preparing for other emergencies.
In support of National Preparedness Month, the Somerset County Department of Health is providing the following tips for residents:
- 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 sure the kit is readily accessible. Add at least two masks per person age two or older in your household, bar or liquid soaps, hand sanitizer with at least 60 % alcohol, and disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces.
- Create a plan for contacting loved ones and what steps you would take in different emergency situations. Plan for sheltering (staying at home) and learn all evacuation routes in case you must leave your home. Pay attention to local guidance for evacuations and shelters, as your shelter location may be different this year because of the pandemic. Be sure to include your children in emergency planning discussions.
- Stay informed by signing up for local emergency alerts and tuning into reliable news sources.
A valuable resource for individuals with disabilities and others who have special needs is Register Ready, New Jersey’s Special Needs Registry for Disasters, which helps to make emergency responders aware of your health and safety needs. To register, visit: http://bit.ly/NJRegisterReady2019 or call 2-1-1 for assistance.
For more information about National Preparedness Month, visit https://www.ready.gov/. You can download and print helpful resources for your own Family Emergency Guide at https://bit.ly/3hPzOVm. For ideas about preparedness activities, contact the Somerset County Department of Health at 908-231-7155 or HealthDept@co.somerset.nj.us.