September Is National Preparedness Month: Do You Have a Plan?

You get ready for a lot of things in life, shouldn’t emergencies be one of them? During an emergency, it is easy to feel helpless. The best strategy to handle emergency situations is to prepare for the unexpected to the best of your ability.

If a disaster strikes in your community, you may not have access to food, water or electricity for several days. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately half of U.S. adults do not have the resources and plans in place for a potential emergency.  Sitting down and developing a communication plan with your family and preparing emergency supply kits can help make emergencies less stressfu

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September is National Preparedness Month and a good time to plan with your family what you would need should you have to leave your home or stay at home, also known as sheltering in place, due to a hurricane or another disaster. This year’s campaign is titled “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.” It is a call to action to think ahead and look beyond batteries and flashlights when making emergency preparedness plans for family members and pets.

“The goal of National Preparedness Month is to encourage Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies throughout the year,” said Freeholder Patricia L Walsh, public health and safety liaison. “In New Jersey, hurricane season runs through November, but other disasters can happen at any time. That is why being prepared is essential.

“Recent events in Texas are a stark reminder of how devastating hurricanes can be,” she said.  “We can’t plan for every contingency, but we can minimize the effects of a disaster with careful planning and communication with loved ones.”

At the county level, National Preparedness Month is being promoted by the Morris County Office of Health Management  and the Office of Emergency Management (OEM).

The Department of Health and OEM want to share the following information to ensure that residents take necessary steps now to prepare for an emergency:

Gather emergency supplies, including at least a three-day supply of food and water, health supplies, personal-care items, safety supplies, electronics and important documents.

Make a plan of how you will contact loved ones and what steps you would take in different emergency situations. 

Stay informed:  Sign up for local emergency alerts and tune into reliable news sources.

Emergency communication plans for parents, kids and those traveling between work and home are available at Important information can be filled in before printing or emailing to family and friends.

Knowing about emergency plans at places where your family spends time such as work, daycare, school, faith organizations and sports events is a good idea too. To learn more, go to