SOMERVILLE, NJ - How should you handle an emergency? Expect the unexpected and “be prepared, not scared.” The goal of National Preparedness Month is to encourage Americans to begin planning for emergencies now and throughout the year – since pre-planning can help ease the impact of a crisis when one arises.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately half of U.S. adults do not have resources and plans in place if an emergency arises. Experts recommend that you should develop a family-communication plan and prepare an emergency supply kit before a crisis occurs to help make it less stressful.

Currently, weather-related emergencies are one of the most common concerns in the nation, and even though hurricane season lasts through November – non-weather related disasters can happen at any time too. That is why being prepared is important.

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In support of National Preparedness Month, the Somerset County Department of Health and the Somerset County Office of Emergency Management are providing the following tips for residents:

- Gather emergency supplies that should include a minimum of a three-day supply of food and water, health supplies, personal care items, safety supplies, electronics and important documents. Make sure the kit is readily accessible.

- Create a plan for contacting loved ones that can be used in different emergencies. 

- Plan for sheltering (staying at home), and learn all evacuation routes in case you have to leave your home.

- Stay informed by signing up for local emergency alerts and tuning into reliable news sources.

Register Ready is New Jersey’s Special Needs Registry for Disasters and is a valuable resource that allows individuals with disabilities and others who have special needs to provide information so that emergency responders can better plan to serve residents during a disaster. To register, visit: or call 2-1-1 for assistance.

For more information about National Preparedness Month, visit For more information about National Preparedness Month activities in Somerset County, contact the Somerset County Department of Health at 908-231-7155 or