It is hurricane season. NJ are going to have our first guest if we want her to visit or not. It is still too early to tell if Irene will do. She may drive by and head directly up the coast staying off in the ocean, she may decide to just sit and wait or if she will pick a location in NJ to visit and move up the coast slowing down. The one thing we are positive about is she is a typical female she over packed for her vacation and never goes to a party alone. Irene is 120-mph powerhouse with tropical storm winds 230 miles from its center. She is bringing high winds, rain and her friend the new moon tides with her.
We in NJ haven’t experienced a hurricane in about 20 years. We all are a little rusty on what to do in case of a hurricane. There are a few things we need to do to prepare our homes.
If you or your family member is disabled, please register with the office of emergency management for the state and your home town. You can dial *211 and register over the phone or you can go to https://www13.state.nj.us/SpecialNeeds/ (make sure your pop up block is disabled for this page).
New Jersey Resources
The New Jersey office of Emergency management also prepared with American Red Cross a check list. http://www.state.nj.us/njoem/preparedness_disabarc_appendix_b.html
You want to know your emergency evacuation routes: http://www.state.nj.us/njoem/plan/evacuation-routes.html
http://www.redcross.org/ has a youtube video you can watch to prepare.
Are you ready? http://www.fema.gov/
Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities and Other Vulnerable Populations http://inclusivepreparedness.org/
http://www.disabilitypreparedness.gov/ which was established by Executive Order in 2004, is responsible for implementing policies to address the safety and security needs of people with disabilities in emergency situations. The Council is headed by the Director of Homeland Secretary and is comprised of representatives from other Federal departments, including the Department of Labor (DOL).
Family plan…. What is your families emergency plan. Do you have a place that you will meet?
Around your home
Make sure any loose items around your yard is stored away. Planters, chairs, tables, lawn decorations and so on.
If you have a grill, take off the propane tank and store it in a safe location. In tidal waters you don’t want propane tanks floating around. Plus if power is lost, you can use the propane to cook with.
Protect your windows. You want to board up your windows. You don’t need a neighbors garbage can going through your window. If you can’t board up your windows, at minimum tape the windows in a starburst pattern Big X – line through the centers. This will keep the glass from bursting into the room.
Keep a blue plastic tarp handy. It can be used to cover windows if they break or be used to keep you dry incase you have to evacuate
Know when it is time to LEAVE. There is no shame is getting out in time. Don’t wait until the boats are there to rescue you. If you know the tides are coming don’t play the wait and see game.
Papers and documentation
Make sure you have your documents. Such as property deed, pension, insurance and citizenship paper.
Make sure you have copies in a safe place. For instances, I scan all my documents and I put them on a USB and I also back them up to the internet.
You want to make sure you have a picture identification.
List of all medications.
List of all medical conditions.
List of emergency contacts.
MONEY… try to carry some cash with you. Make sure you have a safe place to keep your money. Don’t let anyone see where your safe place is.
Don’t leave without your communication device. Make sure it is covered in plastic. If it is small make sure you purchase a waterproof dry bag. http://www.waterproofpaper.com/dry-bag.shtml If your device falls in the water in this type of bag, it is safe.
Powerchair…. Make sure you pack your charger. But be aware that if the power goes out, you may not be able to charge. Have a back up plan. Some EOM offices will allow you to drop off your manual chair 2 days prior to the storm. Check before you just show up.
Back up your devices…. On a USB drive. They are light weight and portable.
If you have a service animal, make sure you have the animals documents so the shelters will allow you in.
If you have pets shelters will NOT allow them in. Make plans for your animals. Ask a friend to take them, check with the hotels to see if they allow them but don’t expect the shelters to take them.
Make sure you have enough food for your service animal or pet for a month. You may be home the next day but you may not be. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
Please take a moment to look at the websites that I have listed. The list I have provided is not a complete list.
Be safe and enjoy the time you have with your family.