Acting Union County Sheriff Joseph Cryan would like to remind residents that September is National Preparedness Month, a time to make sure everyone is ready in the event of an emergency or weather-related disaster.
Sponsored by FEMA, National Preparedness Month aims to educate and encourage Americans to prepare for and be able to respond to all types of emergencies.
“This is a time to prepare yourself and your family for events like Hurricanes Irene and Sandy,” Acting Sheriff Cryan said. “Emergencies can happen unexpectedly and we all need to be ready for them.”
Everyone should have an emergency plan addressing all types of potential disaster scenarios. Discuss with family, friends and neighbors in advance about how you will contact each other, where you will meet and what you will do in different situations.
Make sure that you and your family are prepared for an a disaster by making an emergency kit to ensure you can go for at least three days without electricity, water service, access to a supermarket or other local services.
Emergency kits should include at least a three to five day supply of non-perishable food and water, prescription medications, baby supplies and any additional items for special medical needs. Your kit should also include important phone numbers for doctors as well as car cell-phone chargers.
A battery-operated radio, flash lights, extra batteries as well as non-electric items likes can openers should also be included in the kit.
The needs of pets should also be taken into consideration when planning and making an emergency kit.
Staying informed and being aware of news updates is vital during a crisis.
“It is incredibly important to know what is happening before, during and after an emergency,” said Acting Sheriff Cryan. “Awareness can save lives.”
In the event of an emergency, everyone is urged to tune in, log-on, ‘like’ or ‘follow’ state, county, local and federal agencies on social media for credible disaster-relation information such as alerts and warnings, situational updates and where to find help. Emergency management officials suggest everyone should sign up for phone, e-mail and text alerts.
In New Jersey, hurricane season runs through November so following the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center regarding storm predictions and forecasts is essential.
Residents interested in volunteering to help their community in the event of an emergency should consider attending Community Emergency Response Team training. Information about CERT training can be found on the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management website atwww.state.nj.us/njoem/citizen/cert or call 1-877-237-8411.
For more information about being prepared for an emergency visit www.ready.nj.gov.