Prepare, plan and stay informed 

FREEHOLD, NJ – Hurricane Sandy threatens to hit NJ as it moves up through the Atlantic in the days ahead, so the Monmouth County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) wants residents to be prepared for storms and other emergencies before they hit.

“We have seen the damage that a hurricane can cause and I hope that residents will take precautions as we monitor the progression of this storm,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the county’s Sheriff’s Office and OEM. “While the track of Hurricane Sandy cannot be predicted, everyone must prepare for the worst in order to ensure their safety.” 

“This storm has the potential to affect the east coast from Florida all the way to New York within the next week,” Sheriff Shaun Golden said. “I urge residents to prepare, plan and stay informed about the coming hurricane.”

Prepare –  Assemble a Kit of Emergency Supplies – Batteries, flashlight, radio, first-aid kit, medications, food and water to last three or more days, can opener, cooking tools, toiletries. 

Plan – Create an Emergency Plan – Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan a way to contact one another, such as enlisting the help of a third party in another state as a contact, and review what you will do in different situations. 
Stay Informed – “Like” the Monmouth County Government Facebook page, follow the county on Twitter and visit the county Web site frequently for information and links to important resources. Also, listen to local radio and television for the latest information on storms and other emergencies. Review what warning sirens are used in your community to alert residents of major emergencies. 
 “The survival of you and your family will depend on the measures you take to prepare yourself for an emergency situation,” Golden said.

Burry also recommends that residents take two additional steps. “To be truly equipped for an emergency you should prepare your finances and consider making yourself available to help your neighbors in an emergency,” she said.

Financial Preparedness – Consider your insurance and financial needs in the event of a disaster. Also, take time to prepare a household inventory. If an evacuation is necessary, be sure to have cash or credit cards at your disposal. Consider joining the Citizen Corps – Join others in you community who are ready to provide critical support to first responders and to fellow residents during emergencies. 
Undergoing citizen corps training is a great way to feel empowered in the event of any emergency. The county has two primary programs for you to get involved:  

Citizen Emergency Response Team, or CERT, is a program that trains community members to provide volunteer support to local emergency responders during community incidents and disasters. For more information, contact the county OEM  at 732-431-7400 or log onto the county Web site at www.visitmonmouth.com.
Medical Reserve Corps, or MRC, is also a community-based volunteer program that engages medical, public health and other civilian volunteers to strengthen public health and improve emergency preparedness and response. For more information, contact the county Health Department at 732-431-7456 or log onto the county Web site at www.visitmonmouth.com.
Additional information about storm and disaster preparations is available on the county’s Web site at www.visitmonmouth.com. 

The county OEM works closely with federal, state and local partners to prepare for virtually all hazards, natural or manmade, that could affect New Jersey’s families, communities and businesses.  

Prepare. Plan. Stay Informed.

Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:

•Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation 

•Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food 

•Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both 

•Flashlight and extra batteries 

•First aid kit 

•Whistle to signal for help 

•Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place 

•Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation 

•Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities 

•Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food) 

•Local maps

•Cell phone with chargers

Additional Items to Consider Adding to an Emergency Supply Kit:

•Prescription medications and glasses 

•Infant formula and diapers 

•Pet food and extra water for your pet 

•Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container 

•Cash or traveler's checks and change 

•Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov 

•Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate. 

•Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate. 

•Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners. 

•Fire Extinguisher 

•Matches in a waterproof container 

•Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items 

•Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels 

•Paper and pencil •Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children