Devise a disaster plan and develop a disaster kit In coordination with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Resolve to be Ready in 2009 campaign, Colonel Rick Fuentes, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police and director of the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, is encouraging all New Jersey residents to make a New Year’s resolution for preparedness and create an emergency kit and plan for the home and workplace. “This year, in addition to the traditional goal that we set, we are strongly encouraging all New Jersey residents to devise a disaster plan and develop a disaster kit,” said Fuentes. “For those who have already created a disaster plan and kit, this New Year’s resolution will serve a reminder to check and update your existing plans and kits,” There are several things that New Jersey residents can do to prepare for the unexpected as well as reduce stress and confusion during an actual emergency. The basics of preparedness for virtually all hazards are the same. Following the appropriate steps and being ready “now” means that residents will be ready for any disaster or crisis that may affect New Jersey. “Planning and preparation are the key steps to safety. By making a New Year’s resolution to create an appropriate emergency plan for yourself, your family or place of business, you are readying your environment for any potential emergency,” added Fuentes. The following are some quick tips for emergency preparedness: Step one: get a kit of emergency supplies Three days’ supply of canned, non-perishable, ready-to-eat food Three days’ supply of water (a total of three gallons per family member) Battery-operated radio and extra batteries Flashlight and extra batteries One week’s prescription medications More First Aid Kit Personal toiletries Non-electric can opener and utensils Special needs items Infant care items Items for elderly family members Items for relatives with disabilities Cash or travellers checks (Store important documents in a waterproof, safe location .) In case you need to evacuate Keep your vehicle at a half-tank of gas at all times Every family member must carry contact information: All phone numbers at work, school, etc. for every family member The name and number of a relative who lives out-of-state, to call in case your family gets separated. Step two: make a plan for yourself, your family or your business Meet with the members of your household or office Talk about the types of disasters that are most likely to happen in your area Take time to explain the dangers of emergency incidents to children Discuss why everyone needs to prepare for a disaster Address any special needs concerns in the event of an emergency Build an emergency contact phone list Make provisions for pets Remember to establish and share emergency incident responsibilities Emphasize that teamwork and staying calm are key For more in-depth information regarding emergency preparedness and planning, visit www.ready.nj.gov/plan/kit-plan.html.