N.J. Gov. Declares Sept. ‘National Preparedness Month’

September 3, 2005

Acting New Jersey Gov. Richard Codey has signed a proclamation declaring September “National Preparedness Month” in New Jersey, in conjunction with a nationwide effort by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the American Red Cross.

“We teach children how to protect themselves from strangers, or what to do if they get lost,” Codey said. “In today’s world it is just as important to teach all citizens how to prepare for, respond to and recover from hazards, whether natural or man-made. New Jersey is more prepared than ever to keep our residents as safe and secure as possible. This month we will remind our residents that they, too, have a role to play in our safety effort.”

The State Office of Emergency Management, the State Citizens Corps Council, and the American Red Cross will celebrate the month in New Jersey with a statewide effort to educate residents about the emergency preparedness measures they should take for their homes, schools and businesses.

Events will include:

*Television stations that serve New Jersey viewers will broadcast public service announcements sponsored by the State Citizen Corps in partnership with New Jersey Network. The campaign will encourage residents to create a disaster supply kit, devise a disaster action plan, and volunteer with the Citizen Corps.

* New Jerseyans who buy a newspaper on Sunday, Sept. 11 will find a one-page insert titled “How Can You Prepare for a Terrorist Attack?” The inserts contain brief, easy-to-read instructions on how to create an emergency plan and pack an emergency kit. The insert’s other side contains information on how to recognize and report activity that may be related to terrorism. The inserts will be distributed by the New Jersey Homeland Security Task Force, via more than 2 million newspapers statewide. For more information visit www.njhomelandsecurity.gov.

* The State Citizen Corps Council will hold a two-day conference Sept. 16 and 17. The events will highlight the fact that New Jersey’s Citizens Corps is one of the most successful in the nation, with more than 10,000 volunteers in 208 municipalities. The events also encourage more New Jerseyans to join the Corps. For more information call 609-538-6060 or go to www.state.nj.us/njoem/citizen.html.

* The American Red Cross will hold three statewide awareness events this month. On Sept. 14, the Red Cross will hold a blood drive at the State House Annex in Trenton. On Sept. 22, Red Cross chapters throughout New Jersey will distribute commuter preparedness information at train stations, bus terminals, airports and ferries. On Sept. 23, Red Cross chapters will partner with schools to distribute information on creating “Family Communication Plans” for emergencies.

* The New Jersey Food Council, in partnership with the State Department of Health and Senior Services, will launch “Training for Emergency Preparedness: A Program for Food Retail Store Management Teams.” The training course is designed to encourage active thinking about emergency preparedness practices that can be used by New Jersey’s grocers and other food retailers. For more information, call (609)392-8899.

* The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services will launch a Spanish edition of “Ready Together New Jersey,” a public health guide to emergency planning, in mid-September. The Spanish-language guide, which was released in English earlier this year, will be available at local public health offices, county-based health agencies, and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) statewide. It will also be available at www.nj.gov/health. The guide provides information and resources to New Jersey families in preparation of a pubic health emergency.

* On Sept. 23 the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety will sign a formal agreement with more than 20 private corporations that have their own in-house firefighting and rescue/hazmat response capabilities. This agreement will help the New Jersey Mutual Aid Cooperative – State Industrial Chiefs continue its mission to develop statewide mutual aid response protocols for large scale emergencies and acts of terrorism. The agreement will establish each of the private fire companies as a state resource, will include each company in New Jersey’s emergency planning, and will authorize each company to respond when called to any emergency in New Jersey.

New Jersey Network will broadcast “In the Balance: Bioattack” at 10 p.m. Sept. 19, and “In the Balance: City Under Siege” at 10 p.m. Sept. 26, seminars that will encourage New Jersey’s families to reevaluate their preparedness plans.

To find more events in New Jersey, visit http://www.ready.gov/npm/calendar.htm. Then follow the link to “National Preparedness Month Calendar,” click the State of New Jersey on the map of the United States, and adjust the calendar to read “September 2005.”

“We set September aside to remind us that every month should be national preparedness month,” said Attorney General Peter Harvey, who also chairs New Jersey’s Domestic Security Preparedness Task Force. “Any citizen who follows the news should understand that complacency isn’t an option, and Preparedness Month provides added incentive to prepare for potential disasters, whether manmade or natural.”

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