Be ready before a storm strikes

TRENTON—This week marks the start of the Atlantic hurricane season, and Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes is taking this opportunity to advise County residents to plan and prepare for potential storms this summer and fall.

Although the peak time for hurricane and tropical storm activity in New Jersey is mid-August to late October, severe weather conditions can occur at any time, as evidenced by the recent tornado warning issued for Mercer County.

“Tropical storms and hurricanes can be deadly and destructive, even as far inland as Mercer County,” Mr. Hughes said. “It’s essential that you and your family be ready before a storm strikes, and not put yourselves or others at risk by waiting until the last minute to prepare.”

Mr. Hughes suggests taking the following readiness steps in preparation for hurricane season:

The first step in getting prepared is to make a plan. You may not be at home or with your family when an emergency occurs, so you must have a plan for getting everyone back together in a safe place. The plan should also include what to do if you must shelter at home or evacuate, and emergency contacts both near and far from your home. Make sure your family and everyone involved knows the plan, including children and your emergency contacts.

You should also create a kit. Your emergency preparedness kit should include a stockpile supply of items, consisting of at least a three-day supply of bottled water, non-perishable foods and essential medications set aside for each member of your family and your pets. You can also include important documents and supplies for eating, bathing, safety and entertainment. Have a portable, crank or solar-powered USB charger on hand for your cell phone.

Don’t forget to stay informed. A reminder from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is to check all types of media including websites, newspapers, radio, TV, mobile and land phones for global, national and local information. During an emergency, your local Emergency Management or Emergency Services office will provide you with information about such things as open shelters and evacuation orders. Also register for the Mercer County emergency notification system by visiting and clicking on “Alert Mercer” at the top of the home page.