Planning Information

Improving our national preparedness is not just a job for the professionals – law enforcement, firefighters and others. All Americans should begin a process of learning about potential threats so we are better prepared to react during an attack.

Planning & Prevention

Three Key Steps that Individuals and Families Should Take to be Properly Prepared for Unexpected Emergencies

Improving our national preparedness is not just a job for the professionals – law enforcement, firefighters and others. All Americans should begin a process of learning about potential threats so we are better prepared to react during an attack.

While there is no way to predict what will happen, or what your personal circumstances will be, there are simple things you can do now to prepare yourself and your loved ones.

1) Assemble an Emergency Kit

All of us should be able to survive comfortably on our own for at least a three-day period. That’s the amount of time you may need to remain in your home until the danger from a biological, chemical or radiological attack has passed. You’ll need:

  • A change of clothes
  • Sleeping bags
  • Food and water. A gallon of water per person per day should be enough. Canned and dried foods are easy to store and prepare.

Our advice is to start now by gathering basic emergency supplies – a flashlight, a battery-powered radio, extra batteries, a first-aid kit, prescription medicines and toilet articles. Duct tape and heavy-duty plastic garbage bags can be used to seal windows and doors. Make sure all household members know where the kit is kept. You should also consider bringing a disaster supply kit to work or leaving one in your car.

2) Make a Family Communication Plan

  • Your family may not be together at home when an attack occurs. Make sure everyone knows contact numbers and how to get in touch.
  • It may be wise to have everyone call an out-of-state friend or relative.
  • Keep a list of emergency numbers near the phone.
  • Select a “safe-room” where everyone can gather. The best choice is an interior room above ground with few windows and doors.

3) Learn More About Readiness

Planning helps. If your family knows what to expect, they will be calmer in the aftermath of a terrorist event. For example, you should find out where to turn for instructions, such as local broadcasting networks. Local authorities will broadcast information as quickly as possible concerning the nature of the emergency and what you should do next. Be sure to keep listening for updates.

There are other ways to plan ahead. Take a first aid and CPR class so that you can provide emergency medical help. Review your insurance policies to reduce the economic impact of a potential disaster. Remember to make accommodations for elderly family members and neighbors or those with special needs. Finally, try to make arrangements for pets not allowed in public shelters.

There are many web sites dedicated to the preparedness topic. Some may take preparedness to a point of complete readiness and others may choose to do nothing at all. The challenge from the Emergency Manager point of view is that these varying degrees of preparedness can present a great and sometimes dangerous challenge. As a guide or reference point or starting point for the general public, we ask what you plan to do considering the following questions:

  • Are you ready for 24 hours without power?
  • Can you leaveĀ  your home for 24 hours and have the initial supplies you need?
  • If you had to evacuate your home, do you have the medications you need ready to go?
  • Do you have preparations to transport your pets along with special supplies for your pets?

Now some people may choose to prepare to live remotely for weeks at a time. Others may choose to do absolutely nothing at all. Both of these choices are each individuals’ choice, but every choice has consequences.

We strongly recommend that you prepare for:

  • Basic first aid care for you, your family, and your pets.
  • Have a 48 hour kit of medications, rotated for freshness, prepared for quick access.
  • Have a family rally point. For example, if access to Matamoras Boro or Westfall Township is restricted, you should haveĀ  a designated family friend’s home in Port Jervis, Deerpark, or Milford where your family will make their way to – until the situation allows a return to the affected area.
  • Have your critical paperwork (deeds, insurance policies, etc) in a fire / water proof container.

Our recommendations could go on indefinitely. The concern we all share is that everyone should prepare early for their own level of comfort. There goal is to know that you are responsible for your own initial preparedness in any emergency.

A few sites with preparedness supplies and recommendations are:

These sites can only scratch the surface and help those interested in finding more information. If you have more specific questions or wish to make recommendations for our preparedness page, please go to our contact page and send us a note.


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