Hurricane Sandy reminded us to be prepared for all kinds of emergencies. That goes for heat waves, too. Saturday’s scorching sun did not stop emergency management agencies from holding a Preparedness Fair in Morristown. Here are details from the co-organizers, the local chapter of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with pictures from MorristownGreen.com photographer Scott Schlosser.
FROM THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS:
MORRISTOWN, NJ—“Don’t worry—be ready!” With an active hurricane season behind us and another one forecast, emergency preparation looms large for many. At a Preparedness Fair, on July 20,2013, Morristown area families learned how to prepare 72-hour emergency supply kits for themselves and their pets, how to choose and use a generator, and how to get involved in local emergency preparedness organizations.
Notwithstanding the hot, breezy weather, a steady stream of community members came out to the family event, sponsored by the Morristown First Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in partnership with the Morristown Office of Emergency Management.
The Morristown Fire Department taught fire safety. A bake sale raised funds for the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund and the Morristown Office of Emergency Management; youth sold sno-cones and popcorn to help St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center and the Interfaith Food Pantry. Younger children collected non-perishable food and pet items for the food pantry and St. Hubert’s and participated in a bike patrol and other activities.
Photos by Scott Schlosser for MorristownGreen.com
“When disasters come, a prepared public, aware of risks, should be ready to sustain themselves until a full response can be made. Everyone in the public and private sector can be involved in recovery and getting back to normal,” notes Captain Steven Sarinelli of the Morristown Office of Emergency Management. “The first priority of emergency teams is to protect life, then property.”
“Preparation should begin early,” urges FEMA Private Sector Specialist Pamela Mason. “People tend to become complacent about six months after a disaster. Now is the time to prepare, while things are calm.”
“Preparation can begin with urging neighbors to take advantage of grocery store sales,” observes Jean Michel, preparedness specialist in the Caldwell NJ Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“It can begin simply, by purchasing ‘one more [can] to store’ during weekly grocery runs. Store what your family will eat!” She added, “People just expect someone to take care of them, but it won’t happen.”
Bishop Mark McBride of the Morristown First Ward hopes “the fair will bring more awareness about being prepared before the next event comes. We need to prepare ourselves and then be able to help others.”
Captain Sarinelli emphasizes how important it is, during a disaster, to keep informed about what is going on. “Check ahead of time with your local municipality about communications channels so you can follow advisories. Prepare to help yourself, then your friends and neighbors.”
The American Red Cross, the Morristown Police Department, FEMA, St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center, Esposito Electric, Hanover Powersports, and Get Out Safe also participated in the event. –Martha Corson