REMEMBER: Dial 911 for all Medical & Fire Emergencies
Natural disasters can strike at any time, many of them without warning, so being prepared ahead of time is the way individuals and governments can save lives and protect property. Because the potential for natural disasters is spread around the world, emergency preparedness is important to everyone. The Internet makes it possible to find easily accessible resources about all types of disaster preparedness. State, county and local governments and organizations offer their constituents information on preparing for disasters that might affect them directly, while the federal government and national organizations address emergency preparedness for the country as a whole. International organizations, like the World Health Organization, offer information about events that have the potential for worldwide significance. Online resources make it possible to get the vital information needed to prepare for these natural disasters that can’t be controlled.
Al DiCicco, Barbara Gallagher, Bob Grace
Emergency Cell Phone Calling Info
In case of an Emergency dial 911 immediately. If possible, call 911 from a landline, but if you are on a cellphone please follow these directions:
- If your phone has GPS location tracking, turn that on (if not on by default) and use your phone’s map app to determine your location. Most all newer cellphones have this function.
- If your phone does not have this function or you don’t know how to use it, be as specific as possible about your location. Identify local intersections, buildings, landmarks or anything else that can help direct First Responders.
- Remain on the line with the 911 Dispatcher until help arrives.
- Cape May County Emergency Management
- National Hurricane Center
- Atlantic Tropical Weather Outlook
- New Jersey Office of Emergency Management
- NJ OEM – Hurricanes and Tropical Storms
- National Weather Service – Mount Holly Office
- NJ Coastal Evacuation Maps
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Real-Time Coastal Observations Map (NOAA)
Evacuation Safety Checklists
In the event of a hurricane or other emergency that requires evacuation, the most important thing you can do is to be prepared.
Start early and avoid the rush at home supply stores, grocery stores and other venues typically crowded and often chaotic when severe weather watches and warnings are issued.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs through November 30 but residents need to be prepared in the event of an early or late-season storm.
You should stock six basics for your home: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency supplies, and special items. Keep the items you would most likely need during an evacuation in an easy-to carry container, such as a large, covered trash container, a camping backpack, or a duffle bag.
General guidelines to bear in mind:
- Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members. Keep a smaller version of the supplies kit in the trunk of your car.
- Keep items in airtight plastic bags.
- Change your stored water supply every six months so it stays fresh.
- Replace your stored food every six months.
- Re-think your kit and family needs at least once a year.
- Replace batteries, update clothes, etc.
Food and Water
- Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers, and ill people will need more.
- Store one gallon of water per person per day.
- Keep at least a three-day supply of water per person (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for each person in your household for food preparation/sanitation).
Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking, and little or no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of Sterno. Select food items that are compact and lightweight. Include a selection of the following foods in your Disaster Supplies Kit:
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables
- Canned juices
- Staples (salt, sugar, pepper, spices, etc.)
- High energy foods
- Food for infants
- Comfort/stress foods
- Can / bottle opener if needed
First Aid & Non-Prescription Drugs
First Aid Kit
Assemble a first aid kit for your home and one for each car. Ask your physician or pharmacist about storing prescription medications.
- (20) adhesive bandages, various sizes.
- (1) 5″ x 9″ sterile dressing.
- (1) conforming roller gauze bandage.
- (2) triangular bandages.
- (2) 3 x 3 sterile gauze pads.
- (2) 4 x 4 sterile gauze pads.
- (1) roll 3″ cohesive bandage.
- (2) germicidal hand wipes or waterless alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- (6) antiseptic wipes.
- (2) pair large medical grade non-latex gloves.
- Adhesive tape, 2″ width.
- Anti-bacterial ointment.
- Cold pack.
- Scissors (small, personal).
- CPR breathing barrier, such as a face shield.
- Aspirin or nonaspirin pain reliever
- Anti-diarrhea medication
- Antacid (for stomach upset)
- Activated charcoal (use if advised by the American Association of Poison Control Centers)
Tools and Supplies
- Mess kits, or paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils
- Emergency preparedness manual
- Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Cash and/or change
- Non-electric can opener, utility knife
- Fire extinguisher: small canister ABC type
- Tube tent
- Lighter or matches in a waterproof container
- Aluminum foil
- Plastic storage containers
- Signal flare
- Paper, pencil
- Needles, thread
- Medicine dropper
- Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water
- Plastic sheeting
- List of local shelters
Sanitation, Clothing and Bedding
- Toilet paper, towelettes
- Soap, liquid detergent
- Feminine supplies
- Personal hygiene items
- Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)
- Plastic bucket with tight lid
- Household chlorine bleach
Clothing and Bedding
Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person.
- Sturdy shoes or work boots
- Rain gear
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- Hat and gloves
- Thermal underwear, if season appropriate
Possessions and Documents
- Keep these records in a waterproof, portable container:
- Will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds
- Passports, social security cards, immunization records
- Bank account numbers
- Credit card account numbers and companies
- Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers
- Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
Remember family members with special requirements, such as infants and elderly or disabled persons.
- Powdered milk
- Heart and high blood pressure medication
- Prescription drugs
- Denture needs
- Contact lenses and supplies
- Extra eye glasses
- Board games and other games that don’t require batteries or electricity, books for adult readers and for children.
In the interest of protecting pets, the Humane Society of the United States offers these tips for inclusion in your family disaster plan:
- Do not leave your pets behind.
- Securely fasten a current identification tag to your pet’s collar and carry a photograph of your pet. It’s important to include the phone number of a friend or family member on the tag so anyone who may find your pet is able to reach someone who knows you.
- Transport pets in secure pet carriers and keep pets on leashes or harnesses.
- Call hotels in a safe / host location and ask if you can bring your pets. Ask the manager if a no-pet policy can be lifted during the disaster. Most emergency shelters do not admit pets.
- Call friends, family members, veterinarians or boarding kennels in a safe / host location to arrange foster care if you and your pets cannot stay together.
- Pack a week’s supply of food, water and other provisions, such as medication or cat litter.
- Do not wait until the last minute to evacuate. Rescue officials may not allow you to take your pets if you need to be rescued.
- Keep a list of emergency phone numbers (veterinarian, local animal control, animal shelters, Red Cross, etc.).