Red Cross Asks Central New Jersey to BE READY
Experts predict Northeast likely to be hit by a strong hurricane
June 9, 2006|
Public Relations Director 609.951.2116; (cell) 609.206.4043|
PRINCETON, NJ, June 9, 2006 – There is no way to know how many
hurricanes will make landfall this hurricane season or how much damage
they may wreak. However, we do know that New Jersey is vulnerable to
severe storms that may bring flooding, damage from high winds, and power
outages. Last year it was a merely a thunderstorm sitting over Middlesex
County that caused flooding in the Jamesburg area and heavy rains caused
the Delaware to spill its banks and flood parts of Mercer and Hunterdon
The American Red Cross of Central New Jersey asks that we all use the
beginning of hurricane season as a call to action to get prepared for
any disaster -- especially one that may separate you from your family.
If you haven’t already, the time to prepare is now. Create a personal
disaster plan and build a disaster supplies kit, it won’t take much time
or cost a lot of money.
“Should Central New Jersey be threatened by a hurricane this season we
would prefer that residents are making sure that disabled and elderly
residents in their communities are taken care as opposed to spending
hours frantically searching for critical relief supplies in crowded
stores,” says Paul Carden, director of emergency services for American
Red Cross of Central New Jersey. He adds, “Wouldn’t you also find some
peace of mind in the fact that you have a family communication plan – a
plan detailing where you and your family would go should you need to
evacuate your home during any time of disaster and how to locate family
members should you be separated?”
Knowing what to do in an emergency situation is your best protection.
Details on preparing a disaster plan and disaster kits follow.
Prepare a Personal Disaster Plan
The American Red Cross, the National Weather Service and the Federal
Emergency Management Agency urge each and every family to develop a
family disaster plan.
- Speak with your property insurance agent about purchasing flood
- Meet with your family to create a plan. Discuss the information
you have gathered and why it is important to prepare for a disaster.
- Show and explain to each family member how and when to turn off
the water, gas and electricity at the main switches, and how to use
a fire extinguisher. Remember, if the gas is shut-off, only a
professional can turn it back on.
- Identify ahead of time where you would go if public officials
told you to leave your home. Choose several different places – a
friend’s home outside of the affected area, a motel or a shelter.
- Listen to local media broadcasts or NOAA Weather Radio for the
latest storm conditions.
- If you are told to evacuate, do so immediately.
- In case you have to evacuate, be sure to bring your disaster
supplies kit including medications, extra clothing, pillows and
blankets, and other hygiene and comfort supplies, along with copies
of essential papers and documents.
- Be sure to make advanced safety preparations for your pets. Be
aware that pets are not allowed in Red Cross shelters. Contact your
local humane society or veterinarian for suggestions.
- Ask an out-of-town friend or family member to act as “family
contact” for everyone to call in case of separation. It is often
easier to call long distance after a disaster than to make local
Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit
Gather enough emergency supplies to meet your needs for at least three
days. Store these supplies in sturdy, easy to carry, water resistant
containers. It’s also a good idea to keep a smaller kit in the trunk of
your car. Your disaster supplies kit should include:
- A three-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day) and
ready-to-eat canned goods, such as tuna fish, peanut butter,
crackers, canned fruit, juice boxes, etc. Please remember that you
want to replace stored water and food every six months
- A battery-powered radio, flashlight and plenty of extra
- A manual can opener
- Copies of important documents, including birth certificates,
insurance policies and social security cards. Your original
documents should be secured in a locked box or safety deposit box
- Comfortable clothing and footwear
- One blanket or sleeping bag per person
- A first aid kit, including prescription medicines
- Emergency tools, including tools to turn off utilities
- An extra set of car keys
- Cash/Credit cards
- Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members
- An extra pair of glasses or contact lenses
Practice and maintain your plan. Ask questions to make sure your
family remembers meeting places, phone numbers and safety rules. Conduct
Something else to keep in mind is the value of neighbors during a
difficult time. Working with neighbors can help save lives. Know your
neighbors’ special skills and consider how you could help neighbors who
have special needs, such as disabled and elderly persons. Make plans for
child care in case parents cannot get home - that way, all of the
children in your neighborhood can be safe.
For more information about how individuals and families can prepare for
disasters, visit www.njredcross.org. For disaster preparedness
information in Spanish, visit
American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by
voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can
help too – volunteer your time, make a monetary donation, donate blood,
and/or take a CPR course. For more information on the programs and
services of the American Red Cross and to learn how you can get
involved, contact your local chapter. For Middlesex, Mercer, Hunterdon,
and parts of Somerset counties, visit the American Red Cross of Central
New Jersey web site at www.njredcross.org or call 609/951-8550.
In Hunterdon, call 908/782-4121.
Hurricane Preparedness Information
707 Alexander Road, Suite 101, Princeton, NJ 08540-6311 . 609-951-8550 .
Hunterdon Branch: 349 Route 31 South, Suite 501, Flemington, NJ 08822 .
908-782-4121 . Fax: 908-782-2864