September is National Preparedness Month

Prepare Now For A Disaster
September is National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month, and a good time for Somerset County residents to prepare or replenish supplies for any future emergency or disaster situation, such as another hurricane or a flu outbreak.

The Somerset County Public Health & Safety Department, in conjunction with specialty stores, pharmacies, special-needs schools, preschools, nonprofits, a senior center, supermarkets, faith-based organizations and wholesale stores, is working to promote a culture of emergency preparedness in the county through displays at these locations. 

“Our goal is to encourage families to think about preparedness and take action by assembling an emergency-supply kit well before a disaster strikes,” said Freeholder Peter S. Palmer, public health & safety liaison.

“It’s important to have a kit that includes emergency supplies such as water, flashlights, batteries, non-perishable foods and first-aid items. By doing this, you will be ready to meet the personal needs of all family members, including the special needs of children, the disabled and elderly, as well as  pets,” he said.

Each participating business or organization has developed a display of emergency-preparedness items and the Somerset County Health Department has provided literature on items to include in a kit.  A listing of items to include in an emergency kit can be found on the Somerset County Health Department website at www.co.somerset.nj.us/health/index.htm  under “Hot Topics.” Categories of items to include in a kit are water, food, special items for children and adults, tools and supplies, a first aid kit and clothing and bedding.

Participating in the program this year are:

·         Bridgewater: Costco, Health Occupations Students of America Club at
      the Somerset County Vocational & Technical Schools , Wegmans
      Supermarket, Rite Aid Pharmacy, Learning Gate Daycare,
      Charities-Diocese of Metuchen: Children’s Mobile Response
      Stabilization Services
and Family Preservation Services

·         Basking Ridge: A& P Supermarket and Rite Aid Pharmacy (the South
     Finley Avenue and Allen Road locations)

·         Bedminster: Kings Supermarket

·         Bernardsville: Rite Aid Pharmacy

·         Branchburg: North Branch Reformed Church PreschoolApples and
      Books Learning Center
and  Kangaroo Kids Daycare

·         Franklin Township : Walgreens Pharmacy (the Hamilton Street in
       Somerset and Route 27 in Franklin Park locations), Stop & Shop
on Easton Avenue , Super Stop & Shop in Franklin Park ,
     New Road School of Somerset and Rite Aid Pharmacy ( Elizabeth Avenue
     in Somerset )

·         Manville: The ARC of Somerset County and Manville Senior Center

·         North Plainfield: Growing Tree School , Church of God Prophesy and
      Hydewood Park Baptist Church

·         Raritan: Las Gemelas, Phil AM Mini Market, Golden Bread/Grill,
and Learning Gate Daycare

·         Somerville: Spanish American Store, Luisa Marie Productos Mexicanos,
      Rite Aid Pharmacy, Jewish Family Services of Somerset , Hunterdon
     and Warren Counties
and Easter Seals

·         Warren: Temple Har Shalom and The Union-Morris Jointure
     Commission/Developmental Learning Center

·         Watchung:  BJ’s Wholesale Club

“This is the seventh year the Somerset County Health Department has organized this campaign.  We are pleased that the response from businesses and organizations in setting up the displays has been so enthusiastic,” said Freeholder Palmer.

Another way to prepare for disasters is to sign up for NJ-ALERT, which is the New Jersey Emergency Alert System.  NJ-ALERT is a free, voluntary and confidential emergency-alerting system that allows state emergency management officials to send email or text messages to cell phones and other email-enabled devices during an emergency event.  The public can sign up on the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management website at www.ready.nj.gov by clicking on the NJ-ALERT icon on the right-hand side of the page.  

Also, Somerset County residents who may find it difficult to evacuate their homes during an emergency are encouraged to register with the New Jersey Special Needs Registry, which is free, voluntary and strictly confidential.  Registering helps first responders - police, fire and rescue squad personnel - make best use of limited time and resources to help people with no other options for evacuation during an emergency.  Registration can be done online at www.registerready.nj.gov or by calling New Jersey ’s toll-free 2-1-1 telephone service.   

For more information about National Preparedness Month, contact Health Educator and Risk Communicator Cynthia Kusorgbor of the Somerset County Health Department at 908-231-7155 or kusorgbor@co.somerset.nj.us.