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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
September 18, 2008

Heather Howard

For Further Information Contact:
Donna Leusner
(609) 984-7160

September is National Preparedness Month: DHSS Commissioner Howard Encourages Residents to "Get Ready Together"


Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Commissioner Heather Howard reminds all  New Jersey residents and their families to continue preparing for any type of health emergency, whether it is a natural disaster, an emerging infectious disease or an act of terrorism.


“The events of Hurricane Katrina, as well as September 11, 2001 and the following anthrax attacks, are a stark reminder that every New Jersey family should prepare at home for any and all types of health emergencies,” said Commissioner Howard. “While we should never forget these incidents, we must always continue to stay prepared.”


Information on how to prepare can be found in the Department’s Citizen Guide to Public Health Emergency Planning, Ready Together New Jersey.


In recognition of September as National Preparedness Month, Commissioner Howard encourages residents to do the following:

  • Make an emergency plan: Family members need to have a simple plan in case family members are not together during an emergency. Discuss how you will contact each other, where you will meet and what you will do in different situations.
  • Make an emergency kit: These kits should include the basics for survival: non-perishable food, water, batteries, transistor radio and flashlight.
  • Stay informed: Know where you will get information – web sites, television, radio and mobile phones.
  • Get involved: take a first-aid course, participate in community exercises and volunteer to support first aid responders. Every county in New Jersey has created a Medical Reserve Corps, comprised of volunteers who help respond during public health emergencies. Visit New Jersey’s MRC web site at


Ready Together New Jersey also contains information that can help people assemble an emergency kit and create a personalized action plan. The guide includes telephone numbers and web addresses for agencies that would provide information during an emergency. Also, the guide contains a tear-out wallet card that has room for all pertinent health and emergency information that individuals can carry at all times.


Ready Together New Jersey offers a wealth of information and resources,” said Commissioner Howard. “Every individual and family in New Jersey should have a copy and use it to prepare their respective emergency kits and action plans.”


Individuals or organizations interested in receiving a copy of Ready Together New Jersey can call their local health department. To download a copy, or to get more information on New Jersey’s preparedness efforts, visit the DHSS website at


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