STATE — While national weather forecasters are predicting that Hurricane Earl may just be an inconvenience to our state over Labor Day weekend, New Jersey Health and Senior Services Commissioner Dr. Poonam Alaigh urges residents to take precautions to protect their health and safety, especially if they are going to the shore.
“Even if Hurricane Earl goes out to sea and we are spared major damage, New Jersey residents should still be prepared, especially with the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend when more people are likely to be at the beach,” said Dr. Alaigh. “Rough currents and riptides can lead to serious injuries or drowning of parents and children alike. It’s important that everyone remain responsible regarding the ocean, whether they are boating or swimming.”
Dr. Alaigh recommends the following when visiting the beach this weekend:
- Designate a responsible adult to watch children while swimming or playing around water.
- Be close enough to reach pre-school children at all times.
- Swim with a buddy.
- Select swimming sites with lifeguards. Follow the lifeguard’s rules.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Do not allow children who don’t know how to swim in the ocean.
- Make sure one of your family knows cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
- Don’t use air-filled or foam toys in place of life jackets.
Also, New Jersey law requires that children under 13-years-old wear life jackets aboard any watercraft. Water-skiers, and operators and passengers aboard personal watercraft (i.e., Jet Ski®, Waverunner®, etc) must also wear them.
Moreover, boaters must stock one life jacket per person onboard. Be sure to select ones that fit properly and meet your recreational needs.
Even if Hurricane Earl spares New Jersey from major damage, Dr. Alaigh reminds residents that everyone should be prepared during the hurricane season, which runs through November.
“With September being National Emergency Preparedness Month, there’s no better time for families to review their emergency plans,” said Dr. Alaigh. “And the best time to prepare is before an emergency happens.”
The DHSS website has a page dedicated to preparing for natural disasters, with specific information on hurricane preparedness. Visit this website at www.nj.gov/health/er/natural.shtml to learn the specific things you can do to protect your family’s health and safety.
Taking the following steps will help you be prepared:
- Know your town’s evacuation routes.
- Stockpile a few days worth of water and non-perishable food, flashlights (with batteries) and candles.
- Designate a meeting place for your family during an emergency.
- Make sure you have a sufficient supply of medications for several days.
- Have emergency contact numbers easily accessible
With September being National Emergency Preparedness Month, there’s no better time for everyone to take precautions and remember, the time to prepare is before an emergency happens.
For more information, visit:
- DHSS Emergency Preparedness – http://www.state.nj.us/health/er/index.shtml
- New Jersey Office of Emergency Management – http://www.state.nj.us/njoem/
- Federal Emergency Management Agency – http://www.fema.gov/index.shtm
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