(Gloucester Township, NJ) The statement below is by Commissioner Jonathan Young Sr. on behalf of the Board regarding emergency preparedness following the devastation of Hurricane Ian
“As National Preparedness Month comes to an end, and the devastation of Hurricane Ian becomes more apparent with each passing moment, now is a good time to make sure you are prepared for when emergencies and disasters occur in our area. The questions you should be asking yourself are: Do I have a plan? Am I prepared to take care of myself, my family and my pets? Do I know what to do when it happens here? Answering those three questions are a great start to becoming better prepared for when a tropical storm, flooding, tornado or windstorm blows through Camden County.
One of the best ways be prepared for an emergency is to have a thorough plan of action you can take before, during and after any sort of natural disaster. Planning is not just for emergency management officials; it starts with you and your home. Planning begins with knowing what hazards we face in our area, identifying where you will go if you are required to evacuate, how you are going to get there and how you will communicate with your loved ones if separated. The last thing you want to do is to wait until you are asked to evacuate to answer these questions; so, do it now.
Once you have a plan established, the next step is to prepare a supply kit for things you and your family will need in the event of an emergency. Luckily, making a basic disaster supply kit for your home is not a difficult task. In your supply kit, you need: water, nonperishable food, medications, first aid supplies and other items for your family, including your pets, that will last you for at least 72 hours. The supplies need to reflect your family’s needs and must be updated periodically throughout the year. And remember if you must evacuate the kit goes with you.
The final questions you need to ask yourself are do you know how to take care of your family and how keep them safe? Do you know how to treat injuries or help your neighbors? Camden County offers training throughout the year that teaches residents these crucial skills. The Camden County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program offers disaster preparedness training throughout the year that includes how to plan for disasters, how to build supply kits, fire safety, and several hands-on skills such as how to use a fire extinguisher, disaster first aid, search and rescue and more. CERT now offers the training virtually as well as in person. For more information on CERT email email@example.com. Additional resources to help you prepare are available on ready.gov or camdencounty.com/service/public-safety/emergency-management
So, while we all sit and watch the images and videos of the effects of Hurricane Ian over the next few days, please consider looking at how you can better prepare yourselves and your loved ones for when disasters and emergencies will happen here. Have a plan, make a kit and learn how to help.”