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March 2, 2010

RE: Change Clocks, Check and Update Plans

Dear Mayor:

On Sunday, March 14, 2010 when we turn our clocks forward, Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police and Director of the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management is encouraging all New Jersey residents to create an emergency kit and plan for the home and workplace.

“During the bi-annual clock change, we are reminded by various officials to check our safety devices, especially smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries.  This year in addition to the traditional time change we encourage all New Jersey residents to devise a disaster plan and develop a disaster kit. For those who have already created a disaster plan and kit this will serve a reminder to check and update plans and kits,” said Fuentes.

There are several things that New Jersey residents can do to prepare for the unexpected as well as reduce stress and confusion during an actual emergency.   The basics of preparedness for virtually all hazards are the same.  Following the appropriate steps and being ready “now” means that residents will be ready for any disaster or crisis that may affect New Jersey.

The following are some quick tips for emergency preparedness:

STEP ONE: "GET A KIT" of Emergency Supplies


  • Three days' supply of canned, non-perishable, ready-to-eat FOOD
  • Three days' supply of WATER (a total of three gallons per family member)
  • Battery-operated RADIO and extra batteries
  • FLASHLIGHT and extra batteries
  • One week's prescription MEDICATIONS
  • Personal TOILETRIES
  • Non-electric CAN OPENER and UTENSILS


    • INFANT care items
    • Items for ELDERLY family members
    • Items for relatives with DISABILITIES
  • Store important DOCUMENTS in a waterproof, safe location


  • Keep a half-gallon of GAS at all times
  • Every family member must carry CONTACT INFORMATION:
    • All phone numbers at work, school, etc. for every family member
    • The name and number of a relative who lives out-of-state, to call in case your family gets separated.

STEP TWO: "MAKE A PLAN" for Yourself, Your Family or Your Municipal Offices

  • Meet with the members of your household or office
  • Talk about the types of disasters that are most likely to happen in your area
  • Take time to explain the dangers of emergency incidents to children 
  • Discuss why everyone needs to prepare for a disaster
  • Address any special needs concerns in the event of an emergency
  • Build an emergency contact phone list
  • Make provisions for pets 
  • Remember to establish and share emergency incident responsibilities
  • Emphasize that teamwork and staying calm are key

For more in depth information regarding emergency preparedness and planning please log on to:  

Very truly yours,

Hon. Chuck Chiarello,
Mayor, Buena Vista,
First Vice-President, League of Municipalities and
Chairman, League Emergency Management Committee


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