State Official Reminds Residents To Prepare As They “Spring Forward”

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STATE—On Sunday, New Jersey residents will set their clocks ahead one hour as most of America switches to Daylight Savings Time.

Colonel Rick Fuentes, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police and director of the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, is encouraging all New Jersey residents to also create an emergency kit and plan for the home and workplace.

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“During the bi-annual clock change, we are reminded by various officials to check our safety devices, especially smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries,” said Fuentes.  “In addition to the traditional time change safety checks, we encourage all New Jersey residents to devise a disaster plan and develop a disaster kit. For those who have already created a disaster plan and kit this will serve a reminder to check and update plans and kits.”

There are several things that New Jersey residents can do to prepare for the unexpected as well as reduce stress and confusion during an actual emergency, Fuentes said.   The basics of preparedness for virtually all hazards are the same.  Following the appropriate steps and being ready “now” means that residents will be ready for any disaster or crisis that may affect New Jersey.

“Our goal is to empower all residents to become their household’s emergency managers until first responders arrive on scene to lend professional assistance.  Planning and preparation are the key steps to safety.  By taking time to create an appropriate emergency plan for yourself, your family or place of business, you are readying your environment for any potential emergency,” added Fuentes.

The following are some quick tips for emergency preparedness:

STEP ONE: “GET A KIT” of Emergency Supplies
ITEMS FOR YOUR HOME
•    Three days’ supply of canned, non-perishable, ready-to-eat FOOD
•    Three days’ supply of WATER (a total of three gallons per family member)
•    Battery-operated RADIO and extra batteries
•    FLASHLIGHT and extra batteries
•    One week’s prescription MEDICATIONS
•    FIRST AID KIT
•    Personal TOILETRIES
•    Non-electric CAN OPENER and UTENSILS
•    SPECIAL NEEDS items:
•    INFANT care items
•    Items for ELDERLY family members
•    Items for relatives with DISABILITIES
•    CASH or TRAVELERS CHECKS
•    Store important DOCUMENTS in a waterproof, safe location

IN CASE YOU NEED TO EVACUATE
•    Keep a gallon of GAS at all times in a secured area away from other flammables
•    Every family member must carry CONTACT INFORMATION:
•    All phone numbers at work, school, etc. for every family member
•    The name and number of a relative who lives out-of-state, to call in case your family gets separated.

STEP TWO: “MAKE A PLAN” for Yourself, Your Family or Your Business
•    Address any family member’s special needs concerns in the event of an emergency
•    Take time to explain the dangers of emergency incidents to children
•    Meet with the members of your household or office and create a plan with everyone’s input
•    Talk about the types of disasters that are most likely to happen in your area
•    Discuss why everyone needs to prepare for a disaster
•    Build an emergency contact phone list
•    Make provisions for pets
•    Remember to establish and share emergency incident responsibilities
•    Emphasize that teamwork and staying calm are key

For more in depth information regarding emergency preparedness and planning, log on to: http://www.ready.nj.gov/plan/kit-plan.html


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