As we approach the annual milestone of September 11, it’s a time to reflect on many things – one of which is how to be prepared for a disaster, whether it is natural or man-caused. September 2014 is the 11th annual National Disaster Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). If you are interested in helping others understand how to get prepared for a potential emergency, there are some great resources at www.ready.gov. In addition, here are some tips for navigating through a disaster if one were to occur.
Be patient. Relief workers will be on the scene in a disaster, but depending on the damage that has been done, it could take time to get the help you need. If you are in serious danger or gravely injured, do anything you can to attract attention to yourself – but if you are simply in an uncomfortable predicament, it’s best to stay calm until help arrives.
Expect utilities to be out. No electricity, gas, water or phone services are all common results of disasters, particularly natural disasters. To be prepared, have supplies such as flashlights, blankets, water bottles, non-perishable foods, cleansing wipes, garbage bags and a cell phone charger in your disaster supply kit.
Pay attention to emergency alerts. The New Jersey State Police and some local police departments participate in the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). As IPAWS users, they may send messages through the Emergency Alert System. Keep your battery powered radio and/or mobile phone near you as you wait for help; the emergency alerts may come through either of those devices. In some cases, there may also be emergency information on your security system panel.
Again, there is more information on disaster preparedness available through Ready.gov. If you have questions about receiving emergency information on your security system, contact our New Jersey alarm systems office. We will be glad to help.