TRENTON – As part of National Preparedness Month, the Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee will meet on Thursday afternoon to hear testimony from a broad range of invited guests that serve on the front lines during emergency situations.
Among the guests invited to testify are: State Police Deputy Superintendent of Homeland Security Lt. Col. Hatfield, the NJ Chemical Council, the Red Cross, the United Way, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Verizon and the NJ Food Council.
“New Jersey is no stranger to emergencies, whether it’s manmade or natural disasters,” said Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-Union), chair of the committee. “The recent anniversaries of September 11th and Hurricane Irene are potent reminders of why we can never be too prepared. I’m looking forward to bringing everybody together to highlight this issue, raise public awareness, learn more about what the private sector is doing to protect critical infrastructure and what the public can do to protect themselves.”
Quijano is partnering with the United Way of Greater Union County and the Red Cross to launch an awareness campaign aimed at helping New Jersey residents prepare themselves to tackle unforeseen emergencies. She recently held the first in a series of events at an Elizabeth senior center where approximately 250 senior citizens were on hand to learn about emergency preparedness from public safety representatives, including State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes, as well as state Office of Emergency Management officials and local fire and police personnel.
Taking a cue from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Centers for Disease Control, the Assemblywoman is urging residents to take the following steps: 1. Get a kit 2. Make a plan 3. Be informed.
“The federal government offers many helpful tips to help residents identify risks and adequately prepare for them. Everybody should take a moment to review these recommendations for preparing their family for an emergency. I’m pleased that we could bring these resources directly to our seniors to help prepare them for any added challenges they might face,” added Quijano.
The Assemblywoman is also planning events at senior centers in every town throughout her legislative district throughout September and the beginning of October. The awareness campaign events are part of a pilot program that will continue the throughout the year, with the hope of expanding it to include all residents.