New Jersey Health Initiatives - A Better State of Health
A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program
Hurricane Season: Boy Scout or not, it’s smart to be prepared!

In the wake of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria, and the realization that we are still weeks from the end of this year’s violent hurricane season it is always wise to plan for weather and other emergencies. The Hunterdon County Partnership for Health is a coalition of nearly 60 organizations, agencies and residents that work together to promote a healthy community. This coalition works closely with the Hunterdon County Division of Public Health, and its preparedness team that creates, develops, implements, tests, and evaluates action plans to help prevent and respond to all types of public health crises, including severe weather events and natural disasters.

As we observe National Preparedness Month and are officially in the midst of hurricane season, now is the time to plan for weather and other emergencies. We have seen the devastation these storms can bring, so being prepared is essential.

Did you know more than 75% of Hunterdon County relies on septic systems for sewage removal and wells for fresh drinking water? If you lost power and have a well pump, you would not have access to water.

Start by preparing your house for you and your family. Consider what you would do if your power went out and you needed to keep food and medications cold. Did you know more than 75% of Hunterdon County relies on septic systems for sewage removal and wells for fresh drinking water? If you lost power and have a well pump, you would not have access to water.

Make sure you stock up on water and food that doesn’t need to be cooked or refrigerated (granola bars, powdered milk, trail mix etc.). Generators are great but aren’t always necessary.  Check that you have a kit assembled with supplies such as flashlights, batteries, clothes, diapers, pet food and coolers. Don’t forget to re-stock and check expiration dates on items in your first aid kit (or get a first aid kit if you don’t have one), and stock up on over-the-counter medication or other medications your family uses. Create a list of phone numbers of family members, friends, and doctors that you can reference if you are unable to charge your phone and can’t access your contact numbers. Have a plan ready that includes an evacuation route and a safe place for you and your family to stay in the event you need to evacuate.

Once you have your home and family all set, plan for work place emergencies. What if you are stuck at work due to severe weather or other emergency? Create a “go bag” to keep in your car or work place that includes supplies like a phone charger, an emergency phone number list, first aid kit, blankets, and extra clothes.

Start your planning now; don’t wait until a storm is coming to gather supplies. We all remember the pictures of grocery stores before Sandy or major snow storms when shelves were empty. By planning ahead, you can ease the anxiety and stress of a weather emergency for yourself and others.

For information on the Hunterdon County Partnership for Health please email: kblanda@hhsnj.org

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Project
Author
Janis R. Clark RN BSN Public Health Nurse, Preparedness Nurse
Organization
Hunterdon County Division of Public Health, Partnership for Health Member Organization