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Don’t Panic…Prepare [AUDIO]

Public health officials are hoping to get New Jersey residents beyond panic and into preparedness for emergency situations. That’s the theme on Day Two of National Public Health Week 2014: “Don’t Panic.”

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Ocean County public health coordinator Daniel Regenye said there is no one-size-fits-all household emergency plan. He said preparedness plans are as unique as the members of your family.

“There are different dynamics within a family,” Regenye said. “If you have young children, there’s different things you would want to do. If you have an elderly parent, they have different needs as well. So you want to take that all into consideration.”

He also recommends that you review emergency plans regularly with your family members, so everyone is on the same page.

However, those who already have plans in place still can’t afford to tune out because emergency plans, just like disasters, are fluid. They change as your household changes, and some supplies you might have put away over a year ago could have a shelf life.

Regenye said you can use a marker like daylight saving time as a reminder to check emergency supplies and rotate older items out, replacing them with newer ones. He suggests checking dates on water, food, over-the-counter medications and baby supplies. If you have an elderly family member living with you, make sure you have some of their prescription medications in your disaster kits.

According to Regenye, there are also recommendations on the proper use of generators, to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Ocean County Health Department has a number of preparedness tips on its website. You can also get more tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, at

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