Expert Says NJ Offers Valuable Info To Protect Family And Businesses

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Dean Ragone

SOMERDALE — As the hurricane season begins to unfold, knowing where to find disaster-related information is the best way for New Jersey residents to protect themselves, says Dean Ragone, a 25-year veteran of the disaster planning industry.

This warning carries special resonance because the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s most recent prediction warns of an extremely active 2010 hurricane season, which runs June 1 through Nov. 30.

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“We buy insurance for our homes and cars,” says Ragone, president of Somerdale-based allRisk Property Damage Experts. “Why wouldn’t you take steps to ensure the safety of your family and property if a hurricane or other disaster strikes?”

New Jersey offers a variety of tools to prepare for hurricanes and other disasters.

NJ Alert is a free, voluntary and confidential emergency alerting system that allows State Emergency Management officials to send e-mail or text messages to cell phones and other e-mail enabled devices during an emergency event, according to the New Jersey Office of Emergency Preparedness.

The public can sign up for NJ Alert by logging on to www.njalert.gov or by visiting the NJOEM website at www.ready.nj.gov and clicking on the NJ Alert icon.

“During an emergency such as a hurricane, nor’easter or severe tropical storm, timely dissemination of accurate information is the cornerstone of public safety,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police and director of the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management.

“NJ Alert enables us to deliver emergency messages to the public through the convenience of their handheld devices or PCs in addition to our traditional emergency notification systems such as the Emergency Alert System and Amber Alert.”

New Jersey also has a plan for people with special needs (and their caregivers). They can register at www.registerready.nj.gov or call New Jersey’s toll-free 2-1-1 telephone service. The service will register callers, offer free translation and TTY services for the hearing impaired. Forms are available at all 21 county offices or www.ready.nj.gov/about/association.html.

The state also provides evacuation routes for 14 different counties at http://www.state.nj.us/njoem/plan/evacuation-routes.html and a hurricane evacuation study.

For tips on disaster supply kits and storm recovery, visit  http://www.allriskinc.com/disaster-tips.php.


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