Disasters happen anytime and anywhere. When disaster strikes, you may not have much time to respond. Some disasters may call for you and your family to evacuate (hurricanes, hazardous spills, fires). Other disasters could mean that you and your family may be confined at home. Preparing a Family Disaster Kit can help your family endure an evacuation or home confinement.
Prepare Your Kit
- Gather the supplies that are listed. You may need them if your family is confined at home or during an evacuation.
- Place the items you’d most likely need for an evacuation in an easy-to-carry container(s).
- There are basic items you should stock for your home: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing, bedding, tools & emergency supplies, special items (prescription & non-prescription medications, sanitary items, important documents).
- Store water in plastic containers. Avoid using milk cartons or glass bottles. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water daily. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers, and ill people will need more.
- Store one (1) gallon of water per person per day. Keep at least a three day supply per person (for drinking, food preparation and 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.
- Pack the following foods which can also be taken with you during an evacuation:
- Ready teat canned meat, fruits, vegetables, and staples (salt, sugar, pepper, spices, etc.)
- Don’t forget a non-electric can opener.
- Canned juices, high-energy foods, vitamins, baby formula & bottles, and powered milk.
- Prescription medications: Store in waterproof container, keep prescription records (check shelf life) accessible and current. Bring a medicine dropper and cooler (if needed for RX)
- Dentures, contact lenses, and eyewear.
First Aid Kit
A well stocked first aid kit should include the following items:
- Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
- Latex gloves
- Scissors, tweezers, needle
- Moistened towelettes, antiseptic
- Tongue Blades
- Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
- Non-Prescription Drugs:
- Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever.
- Anti-diarrhea medication,
Tools and Supplies
- Plastic storage containers, mess kits. Paper plates, cups, plastic utensils
- Shut off wrench, to turn off household gas and water
- Battery operated radio and flashlight with extra batteries
- Cash or traveler’s checks, change
- Utility Knife
- Non-electric can opener
- Pliers, tape, compass, needles, thread, signal flare, plastic sheeting or tent (for shelter)
- Paper, pencil, whistle map of area
- Toilet paper, baby diapers, soap, liquid detergent, personal hygiene items, disinfectant, household chlorine bleach.
- Plastic bucket with tight lid and plastic bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)
- Games and Books for children
- Important family documents (keep in waterproof container)
Animal Emergency Preparedness Before a Disaster
- Ask friends, relatives, or others outside your area whether they could shelter your animals. If you have more than one pet, they may be more comfortable together; but be prepared to house them separately.
- Contact hotels and motels outside your immediate area to check policies on accepting pets and restrictions on number, size, and species. Ask if “no pet” policies could be waived in an emergency. Keep a list of “pet friendly” places, including phone numbers, with other disaster information and supplies.
- Prepare a list of boarding facilities and veterinarians who could shelter animals in an emergency. Included 24- hour phone numbers.
Create a Disaster Supply Kit for Pets
In the event of an emergency you may have to leave your home quickly. Your pet relies upon you to take care of him or her. Assemble this kit:
- Medications & medical records in waterproof container,
- Sturdy leases and/or carriers,
- A 3 day supply of food and potable water with bowls,
- A picture of your pet(s) in case they get lost,
- Information on feeding times medical and/or behavioral issues,
- Litter and litter box for cats,
- Pet beds & toys, if easy to transport.
Make sure all dogs and cats are wearing collars that are securely fastened and have ID tags containing up-to-date information.
Emergency Power Generators
Emergency power generators offer an option for those needing or wanting uninterrupted electric service. However, to ensure the safety of the home’s occupants as well as that of utility company employees who may be working on power lines in the area, the proper generator should be selected and installed by a qualified electrician. When operating a generator, the power coming from the home should always be disconnected. Otherwise, power from the generator could be sent back into the utility lines, creating a hazardous situation for utility workers.
- Sentence or two about downed electrical lines.
- Cash, gasoline, evacuation kit, water, cell phone charged, flashlights & batteries
Police Emergency – 911
- Police Non-Emergency – 973-334-1413
Fire Emergency – 911
- Fire Non-Emergency – 973-394-1094
Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L)
- Report Power Outage / Power Emergency – 1-888-544-4877 (1-888-LIGHTSS)
- Outage Map – http://outages.firstenergycorp.com/nj.html
New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG)
- Gas emergency (including odor of gas) – 1–800–427-5325 (800-GAS-LEAK)
- Customer Service – 800-221-0051
Cable Television (Optimum Online / Altice)
- Customer Service – 973-230-6046
Verizon Telephone (residential only)
- Customer Service – 1-800-837-4966
- Clare’s – Denville – 973-625-6000
- Morristown Memorial – 973-971-8005
- Barnabas – Livingston – 973-322-5000
Power Company Restoration Process
Restoration of power is a complicated process. There is a certain order that must be followed when restoring electric power. Electricity comes from the substation, and then the first line feeds into the second, the second into the third and so forth until the end of the line is reached. When performing repairs, the same order must be followed. It would be worthless to repair a service line to a house if the distribution lines were not working.
The number one priority when dealing with electric power lines is safety. There are no exceptions. If it is not safe to work with the power system, repairs will not begin until it is safe to do so. Once it is safe, restoration will commence in the following order.
- Substations – Repairing problems at substations is the top restoration priority. Sometimes power is lost to the substations. If so, the transmission lines must be repaired. The substations are readied for power before the transmission line is energized.
- Three-phase main distribution lines – These are the main “arteries” in transmitting power. The power has to go through these to reach consumers.
In an outage, some locations will receive power when the substation or three-phase lines are re-energized. Sometimes, however, the damage is more extensive and major work will need to be done to a single-phase line. A single-phase line may feed a single home or many homes. A single-phase line with the most consumers on them will be repaired first.
- Individual services – These are the lines that run from the street to each home or business.
Sometimes a tree or branch may rip wires from the home, and the homeowner will need to contact an electrician to re-establish a safe wiring connection.