Be Prepared… More than the Girl Scout Motto

It’s been three years since Hurricane Sandy impacted communities and residents across New Jersey. What have we learned from this event and the ongoing struggle of many to recover?

That is the question Christine Messina, vice-president at AllRisk Property Damage Experts, uses to introduce her presentation on disaster preparedness. In addition to meeting with employees at LSMNJ’s office Burlington on December 8, Christine and her associate, Lisa Ortiz, had previously shared their “be prepared” message with staff and residents of LSMNJ’s Mt. Olive Senior Residence. Located in Flanders, NJ, this senior housing property suffered significant damage as a result of Sandy—requiring the relocation of many residents while repairs were made. After meeting with Christine, the Mt. Olive senior residents can put into place the steps she prescribed and be ready for storms or other disasters to come.

Disater Preparedness

Prepare for your (and your family and friends) safety and comfort in the event of disaster by taking action with three basic steps:

  1. Make a KIT – Identify and gather what supplies you need, then store them for easy “grab and go”.
  2. Have a PLAN – Determine where to evacuate to, a location to meet-up with family/friends, and how you will get in touch with others in the event power and/or phone service is disrupted.
  3. Stay INFORMED – Be sure you are equipped to access breaking news and weather forecasts before, during, and after a disaster.

Taking meeting participants through these three steps, Christine also shared important website addresses such as Here New Jersey residents can find printable guides, checklists, lists, information sources, tips, and other resources to effectively implement the three steps.

One of the most important “survival” tools Christine introduced is the ETON FRX2. All that you need to stay informed and stay in touch and retailing for around $40, this compact weather radio can also charge smart phones … even when the electric grid is down. The FRX2 powers up in multiple ways-via solar panel, hand crank, or built-in rechargeable battery. With its glow-in-the-dark locator, the FRX@ is always easy to find.

Christine left her audience with the reminder that the challenge is to take knowledge of how to prepare and turn it into action. “We all want to believe that disaster will never happen to me or those around me. It’s easy to get comfortable when we’ve ‘dodged the bullet’ a couple times.” To help other LSMNJ staff and residents take responsibility to prepare, AllRisk will be sharing this presentation to additional LSMNJ housing properties in the early part of 2016.