Trenton, NJ – Department of Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez today advised aging residents and individuals with disabilities and their families to finalize their emergency preparedness plans in advance of Hurricane Sandy’s expected landfall on Monday.
“As many of us learned during Tropical Storm Irene, severe weather can cause critical challenges for individuals who depend on personal care assistance, home health aides or generators for vital life-care services,” said Commissioner Velez. “lt’s essential to have an disaster plan in place that lists alternative-care support options, evacuation strategies and emergency contact information.”
There are a variety of resources available to people interested in making arrangements for these types of crisis situations. The federal government website http://www.ready.gov/plan-for-your-risks and the state Council on Developmental Disabilities has issued an emergency preparedness booklet entitled ‘Get Ready for an Emergency ’ that details the steps involved in creating a plan.
“It’s important to contact your caregiver/s to coordinate scheduling and the availability of medical therapies such as chemotherapy or dialysis,” added Velez. “If evacuated, immediately tell emergency personnel you have special needs and remember to bring your prescriptions or any assistive devices such as hearing aids, glasses, medical supplies or equipment. We want everyone to be as safe as possible through the storm.”
It is recommended that emergency kits contain the following:
Individuals in need of evacuation should call their County Office of Emergency Management, located in the blue pages of the Yellow Book or county Area Agencies on Aging and Aging Disability Resource Connections at 877-222-3737. Call 911 only in the event of a medical emergency.
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