JOINT PRESS RELEASE: August 26, 2011
STEPS TO GET READY for HURRICANE IRENE
Hurricane Irene is looking more and more like it will significantly affect our area. Hunterdon County government set up a special information website for this hurricane at www.co.hunterdon.nj.us/Irene2011.htm. From this site, you can quickly access local and general information about this storm and regarding issues you should consider when facing a large-scale emergency.
Before this hurricane bears down on our area, the county health department strongly advises that you prepare by making sure you have on hand what you and your family will need to stay at home throughout this storm and expected messy aftermath. Even if you already have a plan of action, take steps at this time to ensure everyone knows what to do, when and how to do it, and that the supplies you might need are in order.
“Power outages are expected and could last for days,” advised John Beckley, health officer and director of the Hunterdon County Department of Health. “Losing power can become more than just an inconvenience; especially so, if you require electric-powered medical devices. Every household in Hunterdon should be thinking about possible power outages and be doing some advance planning right now.”
County residents who might require assistance during a prolonged power outage and those who live in flood-prone areas should have a plan to evacuate their home to a shelter if conditions require such action. Make the necessary phone calls now to ensure that those on whom you depend will be available.
George Wagner, director of the Hunterdon County Department of Public Safety, reminds residents that the county now offers the Rapid Notify System that sends emergency alert notifications and updates to anyone who subscribes. “Our system is capable of simultaneously broadcasting an alert to thousands of people over email, telephone, cell phone, pager and Personal Digital Assistant,” explained Wagner. “We encourage residents to subscribe to this system so they’ll receive immediate alerts when an emergency occurs and specific ways to reduce risk in potentially life threatening situations.” Subscribe at www.co.hunterdon.nj.us/rapidnotify.htm.
Hunterdon County residents can also register online for the Register Ready program. This is a joint effort of the county department of human services, the office of emergency management, and the health department working together to ensure that county residents with special needs have an opportunity to let emergency response agencies know who and where they are before a major disaster occurs. Residents – or caregivers on their behalf – should consider signing up with Register Ready if, because of physical or cognitive limitations, language difficulty, or lack of transportation, they anticipate having difficulty meeting their critical needs during an emergency.
While signing up with Register Ready is not a guarantee of individual assistance during an emergency, the information in the registry will increase the ability of local responders to best utilize available resources that will be stressed during this critical time. Sign up online at www.co.hunterdon.nj.us and click on the Quick Link for “Register Ready.” Or register by phone by calling 2-1-1 or Hunterdon Helpline at 1-800-272-4630.