Assembly Homeland Security & State Preparedness Chair Urges NJ Residents to be Prepared as Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins

With the 2013 hurricane season officially underway and the first tropical storm barreling down on New Jersey, Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee Chair Annette Quijano is urging New Jersey residents to be prepared for the season ahead.

“With the 2013 hurricane season upon us, I encourage everyone on the East Coast to take the necessary steps to keep themselves and their families safe,” said Quijano (D-Union). “We have to be prepared regardless of the path a storm may follow if formed. Superstorm Sandy demonstrated our vulnerability and the importance of preparation.”

Quijano is urging everyone to assess their disaster plans and consider the following steps:

  • Be informed by knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency. Be aware of potential emergencies that can happen where you live and the appropriate ways to respond to them. Learn your community’s evacuation routes and always heed the warnings of your local leaders and FEMA.
  • Make sure you and your families make an emergency plan so you know how get to a safe place, how you will contact one another, how you get back together, and what you will do in different situations.
  • Build an emergency kit with items such as water, non-perishable food, battery-powered or hand-cranked radio, flashlight along with extra batteries, first aid kit, whistle to signal for help, etc.
  • Further information can be found by visiting disasterassistance.gov, ready.gov, or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA.

Quijano also noted that the State of New Jersey offers two vital services to stay up-to-date and informed:

  • NJ Alert – A free emergency alerting system that allows NJ Office of Emergency Management officials to send E-mail or text messages to cell phones, and other email enabled devices during an emergency event. Sign up for NJ Alert by logging on to: www.njalert.gov.
  • NIXLE – Allows residents to register to receive messages by sending a text message with their zip code to 888777. Online registration is also available at www.nixle.com.

The Red Cross also offers a hurricane app for mobile devices that allows users to monitor conditions in their area or throughout the storm track, find help, and let others know they’re safe even if the power is out. The app can be downloaded by visiting: http://www.redcross.org/mobile-apps/hurricane-app.

“I also urge everyone to have their cell phones charged in the event of a major storm warning. By taking commonsense steps we can ensure the safety of our families and ourselves this hurricane season,” added Quijano.