“National Preparedness Month is recognized each September and this year’s theme is Resolve to be Ready,” said Ocean County Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little, Liaison to the Ocean County Health Department (OCHD). He continued, “Resolve to be Ready is a public awareness campaign that encourages individuals and community leader to make the resolution to put together a family communications plan and take other steps to be prepared. Did you know that almost half of all Americans make New Year’s resolutions and commit to improving their lifestyle or reaching a long-term goal? The 2012 Resolve to be Ready campaign suggests simple steps to prepare your family, your home, your business, and your community in the face of potential disaster.”
Daniel Regenye, OCHD Public Health Coordinator, said, “This is the time to think about basic needs that you, your family and your pets will need in advance of an emergency; how will you communicate, what supplies you need to keep in your home, car, or office. The more you know about what to do in an emergency, the more confident and secure you will feel in your abilities to manage through a disaster. You can begin by taking these steps:
· Be informed. Know the risks and hazards in your area and learn what you need to do to get ready for them
· Make a family emergency plan. This way you know how you would communicate with and find your loved ones if a disaster hit. Do you know how to reach your children if they are in school or your spouse if they are at work? If you needed to evacuate, do you have a place that you will go?
· Build an emergency supply kit. You need these for home and in the car, which includes water, food, and first aid supplies to help you survive if you lost power or get stranded in your car.
· Get Involved. Be an advocate and educator for safety and emergency preparedness within your community.
Leslie Terjesen, OCHD Public Information Officer, said that using modern-day technology can help families prepare, adapt and recover from disruptions brought on by emergencies or disasters. FEMA reminds all Americans to implement the following in advance of an emergency:
· Learn how to send updates via text and internet from your mobile phone to your contact in case voice communicates are not available
· Store you important documents such as personal and financial records on a secure and remote area or flash drive that you can keep readily available so they can be accessed from anywhere
· Create an Emergency Information Document at Ready.gov by using the Family Emergency Plan template in Google Docs or by downloading the Ready Family Emergency Plan to record your emergency plans.
As we begin National Preparedness Month, why not make a pledge to Resolve to be Ready.”