Press Release

For Immediate Release: August 1, 2011

County Designates the first week of August as “Emergency Preparedness Week”

Activities planned to raise awareness and test response.

Union County – As part of a continued effort to raise awareness and test the County and its residents’ ability to respond during a time of crisis, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders have designated the first week of August as “Emergency Preparedness Week.”

Various activities and trainings, both internally and open to the public, have been scheduled during Emergency Preparedness Week.  However, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is reminding its residents that they can prepare themselves, their co-workers and their families for emergencies by taking simple steps such as organizing an emergency supply kit, making a personal preparedness plan, becoming informed about different threats, and getting involved in preparing their community. These activities raise a culture of preparedness and can help save lives.

“While the County of Union’s emergency management officials regularly participate in various preparedness exercises throughout the year, the Freeholder Board felt it was important to set up a mechanism to raise awareness among county residents.” said Freeholder Mohamed Jalloh, Chairman of the Union County Homeland Security Subcommittee.  “Holding an Emergency Preparedness Week in conjunction with National Night Out seemed like a logical solution.”

The County urges all residents to develop a family preparedness plan and create a “Go Bag” with supplies to support each family member and pet for a 72 hour period.  Information and tips for how to create an effective plan and for what should be included in a “Go Bag” can be found at the Office of Emergency Management Webpage:  https://ucnj.org/oem.

The County is encouraging residents to resister with Union County First Alert, a free emergency messaging system which allows residents to receive emergency service announcements from their local officials.   The County will run a test of the UC First Alert system during its Emergency Preparedness Week.  To sign up please visit:  www.ucfirstalert.org

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders chose the first week of August as “Emergency Preparedness Week” in part to coincide with National Night Out.  The Union County Freeholders are proud to sponsor the third annual “National Night Out” at Meisel Park in Springfield.  This event familiarizes our residents with public safety personnel and teaches them some basic safety tips.  The Union County Office of Emergency Management will be disseminating a limited number of battery powered flashlights to the public in attendance for their “Go Bags.”

The Ralph Froehlich Public Safety Building in Westfield will be open to the public on Wednesday, August 3rdfrom 1:00pm-3:00pm and Thursday August 4th from 10:00am-12:00pm for tours and information on some of the steps the County takes to prepare for emergencies.  For more information or additional questions please call the Office of Emergency Management at 908-654-9881.

The County Office of Emergency Management will participate in Operation Cranford: Be Prepared, a program sponsored by the Cranford Boy Scout Troops 75 & 80.  This program will help families learn what to do and what it would be like if home evacuation is needed and will support the ShelterBOX program.  For more information or to register contact Tammy at 908-497-0221 or operationcranford@yahoo.com.

Finally, the County will also be performing various “in-house” preparedness drills and exercises throughout the week.

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