Prepare, plan and stay informed
Basic Emergency Supply kit recommendations
FREEHOLD, NJ –While Tropical Storm Erika may not directly hit New Jersey, the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders wants residents to be ready for any possible impact before it occurs.
“We have all seen the power of a bad storm and remember all too well the damage that was done by Superstorm Sandy,” Freeholder Director Gary J. Rich, Sr. said. “It is important that everyone be ready if this storm, or another one, starts to come our way.”
“The likelihood that you and your family will survive a nor’easter, hurricane or other emergency depends on the preparations that you make now,” Sheriff Shaun Golden said. “Every resident needs to prepare, plan and stay informed.”
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 – 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.
Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso, liaison to the County’s OEM, also recommends that residents take two additional steps. “To bring your readiness to the next level 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 your community who are ready to provide critical support to first responders and to fellow residents during emergencies.
“Preparing for the worst makes dealing with it that much easier,” Golden said. “Residents heeded this advice last year and were able to get through Sandy and her aftermath with no loss of life.”
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 website 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 website at www.visitmonmouth.com.
Additional information about storm and disaster preparations is available on the County’s website 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.
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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