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5/29/2011 - State Encourages Hurricane Preparedness

State Emergency Preparedness Officials Encourage
Greater Hurricane Preparedness Planning

-Increased Awareness Messaging Comes in Advance of Atlantic Hurricane Season-

May 23, 2011

New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and PreparednessNew Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (OHSP) Director Charles B. McKenna and New Jersey State Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes announced today that state officials will be increasing individual preparedness messaging in advance of the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which begins on June 1 and runs through November 30. They also said the increased awareness messages will coincide with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Hurricane Preparedness Week, which began May 22.

  New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (OHSP) Director Charles B. McKenna
Charles  McKenna
“Hurricane preparedness remains a key element in the state’s comprehensive homeland security and emergency preparedness plan,” McKenna said. “Ensuring that New Jersey residents, businesses and local communities are ready to respond to and recover from any type of emergency, especially a hurricane, is a top priority for the Christie administration.”

New Jersey State Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes
Rick Fuentes
 
Colonel Fuentes added, “Though hurricane season may start on June 1st and end on November 30th, preparedness is a way of life," said Fuentes, who is also Superintendent of the State Police. "Preparedness requires learning from our experiences to increase our state of readiness each and every year. Our goal is to engage all citizens in the planning process to make sure we have disaster survivors, not disaster victims."

McKenna and Fuentes said there are basic steps that residents, businesses, and workers across the state can take to increase their individual level of preparedness for a hurricane or any type of emergency event. These measures include:

Make an Emergency Go-Bag, which includes items such as, bottled water, batterypowered radio, flashlights and extra batteries, non-perishable foods, and necessary prescription drugs. Remember to include extra cash in the event ATMs are not working.

Make a Family Emergency Plan, which will ensure your family members know where to go, whom to contact, and how to remain in contact should family members become separated during an emergency event. Remember to maintain at least a half tank of gas in your vehicle at all times.

Stay Informed, knowing information such as local evacuation routes, the location of nearby shelters, and other basic safety tips can help keep individuals withstand the first few hours of a hurricane or any other emergency.

More specific safety tips and additional information can be found at www.state.nj.us/njoem, which is operated by State OEM, or at www.ready.nj.gov.

McKenna said his office will continue to invest in federal and state resources that enhance the state’s preparedness, readiness, and resiliency.Make a Family Emergency Plan, which will ensure your family members know where to go, whom to contact, and how to remain in contact should family members become separated during an emergency event He also said OHSP will continue to work with public and private sector partners throughout New Jersey to ensure that the state’s critical infrastructure sites and key resources, the majority of which are owned and/or operated by the private sector, are ready to return to service as quickly as possible after any type of emergency. “The private sector has been and will continue to be a strategic partner in nearly all of our homeland security and emergency preparedness initiatives,” McKenna said.

“Whether it is a terrorist attack or a natural disaster such as a hurricane or major flood, the effects can be mitigated if our citizens are equipped with the basic knowledge of what to do, where to go and how to act,” McKenna said. “The point of encouraging greater citizen preparedness is simple: being prepared helps keep people safer.”

More information about OHSP can be found at www.njhomelandsecurity.gov. More information about State OEM can be found at www.state.nj.us./njoem.