OCHD PROVIDES TIPS TO PREPARE FOR AN EMERGENCY
(Toms River) – Summer is a time Mother Nature can unleash her fury in a variety of ways. Whether it is extreme heat, wildfires, flooding, hurricanes or tornadoes the best way to stay safe, according to the Ocean County Health Department (OCHD), is to prepare, plan and stay informed.
“The lessons of Superstorm Sandy are still fresh in the minds of many here in Ocean County,” said Ocean County Commissioner Gary Quinn, liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health. “Sometimes nature does not give us much warning of the power and damage she can inflict. Protect you and your family by having an emergency plan in place before disaster strikes.”
August typically stirs up the ever-unpredictable hurricane season on the east coast and runs throughout the remainder of the summer and deep into fall. However, there’s more than just hurricanes to be concerned about in the coming months for Ocean County residents.
“It may be one of the most important things you ever do,” says Daniel Regenye, Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) Public Health Coordinator/Health Officer. “Putting together an emergency preparedness plan and kit could help you survive any of these different types of natural disasters. We have seen practically everything here in Ocean County over the years from devastating hurricanes and flooding to heat waves, rampant forest fires and crippling blizzards.”
The following is a list of just some of the key preparations to make in the event of an emergency.
Visit official websites like Ready.gov, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to learn more about how to reduce risks to life and property in the event of any major disaster. You should also download an Emergency Preparedness Disaster Tips brochure from www.ochd.org to learn more regarding putting together an emergency kit.
Test out your safety plan; ensure your disaster kit contains all the essentials. Run your loved ones – especially the kids – through what to do if disaster hits. This can give you a better chance of emerging on the other side with minimal losses. Plan and practice the escape route from your home. Discuss who will check on you in the event of an emergency
Ask your local fire department, police department, or emergency management office about emergency special assistance programs. Keep a list of local and regional emergency services.
Contact your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) to see if they have a Special Needs Registry. Ocean County Office of Senior Services (732) 929-2091. If you spend time above the first floor of an elevator building, plan and practice using alternate methods of evacuation.
Choose an out-of-town contact:
Your family members must know how to contact this person. Decide where to meet your household members if ever separated during an emergency.
Check that all your visual and vibrating alerting devices have back-up battery.
Label equipment and add instruction cards. Also, inform your personal support network on how to safely operate and move your equipment.
Secure any life support equipment to prevent damage from falling.
Have flashlights, candles and obtain a generator if appropriate and feasible.
For more information on emergency preparedness visit the Ocean County Health Department website at www.ochd.org or follow us on Twitter@OCpublichealth or like us on Facebook.