This E-News Update provides information on federal and state resources available to help New Jersey businesses and employees recover from Hurricane Sandy. Please print out or forward the E-News to anyone who might benefit from the information. We welcome your comments, questions, good stories and topic ideas at FemaPrivateSector-DR4086NJ@fema.dhs.gov or by calling 732-345-3683.
AN INVITATION FROM FEMA
September is National Preparedness Month and FEMA invites you to join the National Preparedness Community and download the 2013 National Preparedness Month Toolkit.
The National Preparedness Community is where more than 32,000 people connect and collaborate on emergency preparedness. You can use the community and the Toolkit to empower yourself to prepare and coordinate preparedness activities with your family, neighbors, and those with whom you worship during National Preparedness Month.
Here are the top 5 reasons to join:
• Download the 2013 National Preparedness Month Toolkit
• Get access to preparedness resources
• Promote your national preparedness event on the calendar
• Connect and build relationships with emergency management personnel
• Share and compare preparedness plans
BLUECLAWS PITCHING PREPAREDNESS
The Lakewood BlueClaws baseball team is once again encouraging their fans to be prepared. This week to promote the beginning of National Disaster Preparedness Month, the BlueClaws, South Jersey Region of the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are collaborating to share preparedness tips at the Sunday, Sept. 1 BlueClaws game vs. the Greensboro (NC) Grasshoppers.
Over the past two years New Jersey has had to respond to both Hurricanes Irene and Sandy. Now is the time to be thinking about preparedness measures that will protect your family, home and business from future disaster.
All fans attending the game this Sunday evening are encouraged to bring an emergency preparedness item to First Energy Park. The Red Cross will distribute the donated items throughout the region. The game starts at 7:05 p.m. and will be followed by a fireworks show.
Suggested items include:
• Trash bags
• Medical supplies
• Address books
• Paper products
• Plastic containers
The Red Cross and FEMA will have information displays between both main entrances inside the stadium. Fans are invited to stop by to learn more about preparedness and how to rebuild stronger, safer and smarter. FEMA will give away preparedness activity books for children ages 4-7 and 8-11 while supplies last.
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS IS GOOD BUSINESS FOR NEW JERSEY
The restoration of businesses hit hard by Superstorm Sandy was essential to beginning New Jersey’s recovery. But with more than three months to go before the end of this hurricane season, businesses without disaster plans are skating on thin ice. "History has proven the sooner local businesses recover following a disaster, the faster the community begins recovering," said Gracia Szczech FEMA’s federal coordinating officer for New Jersey recovery. "Which is why having an emergency, or disaster operations plan is crucial."
Having a continuity and preparedness plan is just the beginning, though. Implementation and regular practice of the plan enhances the resilience of a business and its capability to jumpstart the recovery process. Being the first business of its kind – or the first on the block – to return following a disaster could catapult revenues at a time when needed the most.
The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Small Business Administration all encourage businesses to prepare for future severe weather events. Businesses with thorough disaster preparedness plans generally have less damage, less economic loss and less down time following a disaster. A plan also will assist a business’ community recovery more quickly following a disaster.
"Prepared businesses can really help minimize the impact a disaster has on a community," said Bill Vogel, FEMA’s deputy federal coordinating officer. "Local businesses are vital resources and economic engines so it’s a huge step toward recovery if they’re able to reopen quickly after a disaster."
Businesses should consider several elements in preparing for a disaster. Detail how you will be in contact with employees, customers and others. Employees should be encouraged to stay informed of potential emergencies and make a family emergency plan. An employee with a good plan at home will be back on the job quicker, free from home anxiety due to a disaster and will be more productive on the job.
Not only is it important to protect the staff, building, data and company inventory during a damaging event; it also is critical to prepare a plan to continue operations in case most everything is destroyed.
A good plan may include provisions to relocate to a pre-identified site, retrieve business records, and a way to operate efficiently with a smaller staff of key individuals.
FEMA provides a step-by-step approach to emergency planning, response and recovery for companies of all sizes at www.ready.gov/business.
PREPARE YOUR COLLEGE-BOUND STUDENTS TO DEAL EFFECTIVELY WITH A DISASTER
As September draws closer, families throughout New Jersey are preparing to send their sons and daughters off to college – and many of those students will be away from home for the first time. Being on their own for the first time can be challenging. While students will soon settle in and enjoy their college routine, that transition may be a little easier if they know they can handle themselves in an emergency. As you plan for their practical needs during their months away from home – climate- appropriate clothing, dorm supplies, medications and toiletries – be sure to include some items that will come in handy in an emergency.
Whether it’s as simple as a power outage or as challenging as a storm like Sandy, being prepared can help your college student remain safe and deal calmly with the situation while helping other classmates to do the same. Having a disaster readiness kit on hand can go a long way toward keeping your student safe and feeling secure in a challenging situation. A kit can be as simple as a backpack containing items like a flashlight, a small radio, extra batteries, a solar-powered or hand- cranked cell phone charger, energy bars, water and first aid supplies.
These days, most colleges have emergency plans that outline procedures in the event of a natural or manmade disaster. Check the college’s website to see if its plans are posted. If not, call the admissions officer to request a copy of the plan and to confirm that your student is registered with its emergency notification system.
Make sure that your son or daughter updates their cell phone contacts and adds an "In Case of Emergency" number in their contact list. Remind them that cell phone service may be unreliable in the aftermath of a disaster. Texting or communicating via social media may be possible when phone calls are not. Work out a family communications plan with your college-bound student so that she or he will know where to get in touch with you at any time, or where to leave a message if communications between home and school are disrupted.
Prepare an emergency information sheet listing the names, locations and phone numbers for family members, physicians, medical insurance, and other important resources.
Check with your homeowners’ insurance company to see if your policy covers your student’s belongings at school. If not, you may need to purchase an additional rental policy to cover items in your student’s dorm room. Advise your student to keep their emergency kit under the bed or on the top shelf of a closet where it will be easily accessible in an emergency. Ready-made disaster kits designed for students can be ordered from the American Red Cross at www.redcrossstore.org.
For more information on building a basic disaster kit and developing a family communications plan, go to
Weathering a disaster can be similar to passing a challenging course – all it takes is doing your homework, and staying prepared.
FEMA’s PRIVATE SECTOR DIVISION
This e-news update is provided by FEMA’s Private Sector Division, which is deployed in support of the response and recovery efforts from Hurricane Sandy. To partner with us in disseminating situational awareness and helpful information or to schedule a meeting, contact us at FemaPrivateSector-DR4086NJ@fema.dhs.gov or call 732-
345-3683. To subscribe to future editions of E-News Update, send us an email with "SUBSCRIBE" in the subject line. If you no longer wish to subscribe, reply to the FEMA email with the word "REMOVE" in the subject line.
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for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.