FAIR LAWN, NJ - September is National Preparedness Month. What seems to be common sense can go out the window quickly when you have to think about what to do in a disaster...but thinking about it beforehand can make all the difference.

Emergencies do not have to be weather-related. Do you know what to do? Do you have a plan in place? The best way to protect your family is be aware and prepare. 

Fair Lawn Emergency Management encourages and reminds residents to be prepared for disasters or emergencies in their homes, businesses and our community.

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Taking these steps can help protect your family when an emergency strikes:

  • Make a Family Emergency Plan & Practice the Plan with your Family
  • Build an emergency supplies kit
  • Stay informed.  Register for notifications from the Borough at “Notification Sign-Up” on www.fairlawn.org

Making a plan only takes a few minutes. Just record what you need to do, where to go and how to get in touch with family members. Include any special considerations for older adults, people with access/functional needs and/or pets. Discuss the plan with the entire family. Be sure to include phone numbers of each family member, a number for a pre-assigned out-of-state contact who can keep track of family members, and an “in case of emergency” contact for emergency personnel to use. In addition, choose a meeting place where all family members can meet during emergencies. 

An emergency supplies kit should contain enough non-perishable food and bottled water (1 gallon per person per day) to last five days. Kits also should include: copies of insurance papers and identification, first aid kit, NOAA weather radio and batteries, prescription medicines, bedding, weather-appropriate clothing, hygiene items, cash, and supplies for any household pets.

Residents might also be asked to shelter in place. There may be circumstances when staying put and creating a barrier between yourself and the outside. Use common sense and available information to assess the situation and determine if there is immediate danger.

Downed utility lines, blackouts, snow falls and heavy rain storms can lead to power outages. Many residents are turning to generators as a temporary solution. Please remember the following safety precautions when using a generator.

Generators should be used in well ventilated locations outside away from all doors, windows and vent openings.

  • Never use a generator in an attached garage, even with the door open.
  • Place generators so that exhaust fumes can’t enter the home through windows, doors or other openings.
  • Make sure to install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home.
  • Turn off generators and let them cool down before refueling. Never refuel a generator while it is running.
  • Store fuel for the generator in a container that is intended for the purpose and is correctly labeled

Additional preparedness information can be found on the following websites:

  • www.ready.gov
  • www.fema.gov

Fair Lawn Emergency Management issues bulletins as necessary throughout severe weather events. This notifications are made through the Emergency Telephone Notification System, the Borough website, e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, Nixle, and Fair Lawn Television.

For more information or questions, contact Fair Lawn Emergency Management at 201-794-5390 or via email at oem@fairlawn.org.