SOMERSET COUNTY, NJ - During an emergency, it is easy to feel out of control. The best way to be in control is to prepare for the unexpected to the best of your ability.
In an emergency, where would you meet your family members outside your home? What medications would you need for your family and pets? Where would you look for information about the emergency? Who would assist family members and friends who may be vulnerable due to age or illness if you are not available?
“Since predicting when and where a disaster will hit is difficult to pinpoint, it is important to plan how you will communicate with your loved ones and how you will stay informed about essential community information should the need arise,” said Somerset County Freeholder Deputy Director Peter S. Palmer. “Being prepared can make a significant difference in your health, safety and comfort during the first few days of a disaster.”
September is National Preparedness Month (NPM) and a good time to plan with your family what you would need should you have to leave your home or stay in place due to a hurricane or another disaster. During the first three days of an emergency, it is essential that you plan how you will survive until organized rescue efforts can be mobilized.
“The goal of NPM is to encourage Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies throughout the year,” said Freeholder Palmer, 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.”

This year’s NPM campaign is titled “Don't Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.” 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 Somerset County Department of Health wants 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.

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

· Stay informed – be prepared by signing up for local emergency alerts and tuning into reliable news sources.

Emergency Communication Plans for parents, kids and those travelling between work and home are available at https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan  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. To learn more, go to http://bit.ly/AwayfromHome

Locally, National Preparedness Month is being promoted by the Somerset County Public Health & Safety Department, which includes the Department of Health and Office of Emergency Management.