Assembly Homeland Security & State Preparedness Chair Urges NJ Residents to Prepare as ‘Sandy’ Approaches

Assembly Homeland Security Committee Chair Annette Quijano on Friday urged New Jersey residents to be prepared and follow all necessary precautions being advised by local energy management units as Hurricane Sandy and several other storms zero in New Jersey.

“The potentially unprecedented nature of this storm certainly begs for caution and readiness,” said Quijano (D-Union). “Residents, particularly in the shore areas, should heed the advice of state and local emergency management units, particularly when it comes to evacuations. Our statewide emergency management network is working around the clock to coordinate preparedness for this storm and I have every confidence in their ability to work together during and after it hits our state.”

For in depth details on how to prepare, Quijano urged residents to visit the NJ Department of Homeland Security’s Hurricane Preparedness websites:

– (English) http://ready.nj.gov/plan/hurricanes.html
– (Spanish) http://www.listo.gov/

For tracking information and general updates on the storm, Quijano urged residents to visit http://ready.nj.gov/ . She also noted that the state offers two other 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.

Quijano also noted that the Red Cross 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.

Following the advice of other emergency management officials, Quijano also urged residents to have their cell phones charged and to make sure that gas tanks are at least half full.

“Families should take full advantage of this weekend to prepare and make sure they are stocked with water, first aid kits, necessary medications, batteries, flashlights, and non-perishable food items. Equally important, given the high wind forecasts, is to make sure any loose items around the home and yard are properly secured and put away,” added Quijano. “In times of emergency, it’s more important than ever that we embrace a sense of community and be sure to check in on elderly family and friends and any others who may be home-bound due to illness or disability to make sure they have the necessary items.”