Thursday, September 1, 2016
Preparing yourself and your family before disaster strikes is emphasized throughout the year, but particularly during September which is celebrated as National Preparedness Month and is often the height of the Atlantic Hurricane Season.
Research indicates that individuals who believe they are personally prepared for disasters are often not as prepared as they think. And some admit they have no plans in place.
National Preparedness Month is an ideal time to prepare yourself and those in your care for emergencies and disasters, both large scale and smaller local events, as emergencies can happen unexpectedly in any community.
“Our public safety officials, law enforcement, and first responders do an outstanding job of keeping us safe, but they cannot do it alone,” stated County Executive Dennis Levinson. “Each one of us must accept responsibility for ourselves and our families. By doing so we help to ensure the safety of our communities.”
The Atlantic County Office of Emergency Preparedness works year round to enhance emergency preparedness and response efforts. Since Superstorm Sandy, it has developed partnerships with agencies to provide shelter facilities for the general population, the medically needy, and pets during large scale disasters. It has also acquired supplies and equipment for sheltering, mass feeding and recovery operations. The office also trains personnel and community volunteers in shelter operations and management.
Levinson stressed the importance for residents to make and discuss plans should they ever need to evacuate. This includes identifying both a local and out-of-area friend or relative with whom they may stay, learning which roadways serve as evacuation routes, and preparing a disaster supply kit with at least three days of food and water as well as one for their vehicle.
Residents will find this information and more on the Atlantic County emergency information website at: www.ReadyAtlantic.org.
Individuals who are interested in receiving disaster preparedness education and training are encouraged to become members of the county’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) or Medical Reserve Corps (MRC). Members may provide immediate care, stabilization and information prior to the arrival of first responders in addition to assistance at emergency operation centers and evacuation shelters as needed. For more information, call (609) 407-6742 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Preparedness is the key,” stated Levinson. “It is far less stressful to prepare now than to try to do so during an emergency. Have the discussion with your family members and loved ones today.”
The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs through November 30.