The Camden County Department of Health & Human Services Bio-terrorism and Health Education Team has always taken pride in educating and empowering communities to take some simple steps to prepare for and respond to potential emergencies, including natural disasters and terrorist attacks. We ask individuals to do three key things:
- Get an emergency supply kit
- Make a family/business emergency plan
- Be informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses
Each household or business should have some basic supplies on hand in order to survive for at least three days if an emergency occurs. Following is a listing of some basic items that every emergency supply kit should include. However, it is important that individuals review this list and consider where they live and the unique needs of their family in order to create an emergency supply kit that will meet these needs. Individuals should also consider having at least two emergency supply kits, one full kit at home and smaller portable kits in their workplace, vehicle or other places they spend time.
Step 1: How to Prepare Your Emergency Disaster Kit
A disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.
Try to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.
Step 2: Make a family/business emergency plan
Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes so it is important to plan in advance: how you will get to a safe place; how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations.
FEMA’s Ready.gov has made it simple for you to make a family emergency plan. Download the Family Emergency Plan (FEP) (PDF – 450 Kb) and fill out the sections before printing it or emailing it to your family and friends.
Step 3: Be informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses
Being prepared means staying informed. Check all types of media – Web sites, newspapers, radio, TV, mobile and land phones – for global, national and local information. Camden County has implemented a high-speed notification system known as CodeRED. The CodeRED system provides Camden County emergency management officials with the ability to quickly deliver messages to targeted areas or the entire county during emergency situations.
It is also important to know about the risks that may happen in your community, and to know whether an emergency is imminent or is already taking place. The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management has put together a list of specific hazards and how to prepare for them. Click here to learn more.
For more information:
Koren Norwood, MS CHES, CLC
Health Educator & Risk Communication Specialist
Camden County Dept. of Health & Human Services