PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
September 14, 2012

Mary E. O'Dowd, M.P.H.
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

Health Commissioner Recommends New Jersey Residents to Stay Prepared -- September is National Emergency Preparedness Month--

With September designated as the 9th annual National Emergency Preparedness Month, New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd recommends that New Jersey residents review their emergency plans and prepare in the event of a public health emergency.

"As always, the best time to prepare for an emergency is before it happens. New Jersey residents should take the time to review their own emergency plans and update their emergency kits. By taking some simple steps, families can decrease the risk of illness and death in the event of a public health emergency."

Colonel Rick Fuentes, NJ State Police Superintendent and Director of the NJ Office of Emergency Management, noted that everyone has a role in preparedness for health emergencies. "Talk to your family about how you will communicate with each during emergencies, and where you will reunite if separated. Start to collect the basic items for your family disaster supply kit, and have non-prescription medicines and health supplies on hand. Always make sure to take prescription medicines with you if you are evacuated, and consider health-related issues of family members in your disaster plan. And visit the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management website for detailed information regarding preparedness for all types of emergencies," Colonel Fuentes said.

Everyone should make the following preparations to protect their family, their business and their community in advance of an emergency:

  • Have an emergency kit
  • Make an emergency plan
  • Stay informed
  • Get involved

Have an emergency kit: Everyone should be prepared to have enough supplies for at least three days. Emergency kits should include the basics for survival including non-perishable food, water, medicine (both over-the-counter and prescription, if possible), flashlight, transistor radio, batteries, phone chargers, baby supplies and other special medical needs.

For an extensive list of how to put a family emergency kit together, visit http://nj.gov/health/er/documents/kit.pdf.

Make an emergency plan: Families should have an emergency plan that includes all family members and friends in case family members are separated when an emergency occurs. Plans should spell out how to contact each other, where everyone will meet and what to do in various situations.

An emergency plan should also include a comprehensive contact list that includes school and health care information as well as family information. Make sure this list is updated often as cell phone numbers may change.