Emergency Preparedness

The appropriate emergency response depends upon responsible emergency preparation. Every level of government has created a plan that focuses on emergency preparedness and response should we be faced with a natural or man-made disaster. Take time to learn what emergency systems are in place in New Jersey and nationwide. Create an Emergency Preparedness Plan for yourself and your loved ones (including your pets) and be certain that you have the supplies you will need should you face an emergency.

National Emergency Management

FEMA Emergency Preparedness Web Pages were created to fully educate the public on disasters of every description and what must be done to responsibly prepare, respond and recover should a disaster occur. The site includes many resource pages focused on natural disasterspandemics, home fires, and technology. Also included are pages devoted to how you can get involved in your local community's response efforts.

New Jersey Homeland Security and Emergency Management

See Something Say Something

You can Report Suspicious Activity online, by email through tips@njohsp.gov or by calling 1-866-4-SAFE-NJ.

The Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness was created in March of 2006 and is responsible for the administration, coordination, and supervision of New Jersey's counter-terrorism and preparedness efforts. The NJ OHSP works closely with government, law enforcement, emergency management, non-profit, and the private sector to do all that it can to protect the people of New Jersey from harm.

The NJ Office of Emergency Management is responsible for planning, directing and coordinating emergency operations within the state which is beyond local control. The office works closely with government, law enforcement, the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, non-profit organizations and the private sector to help people plan for, respond to and recover from emergency events of every description. Find your County Office of Emergency Management.

HelpNJNow.org was designed to connect resources with up to date community needs in order to best respond to disasters. This site was built and is maintained by a partnership between New Jersey Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NJVOAD), the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (NJOEM) and the Governor's Office on Volunteerism. 

Emergency Preparedness Begins Long Before Disaster Hits

Financial Preparedness 

Americans at all income levels have experienced the challenges of rebuilding their lives after a disaster or other emergency. In these stressful circumstances, having access to personal financial, insurance, medical, and other records is crucial for starting the process of recovery quickly and efficiently. Taking the time now to collect and secure these critical records will give you peace of mind and, in the event of an emergency, will ensure that you have the documentation needed to start the recovery process without delay.

To help you take this important step in financial preparedness for disasters, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Operation HOPE have created the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK). This flexible tool is designed to help individuals and families at all income levels collect and secure the documentation they would need to recover should disaster strike. It also includes helpful tips and suggestions regarding how to safeguard important information, what to do in case of an emergency, and how to work with others to strengthen community preparedness.

You can also learn what Important Legal Documents you should have with you here.

Sign-up for Emergency Notification

In an effort to build a preparedness strategy that will help NJ citizens stay informed of emergency events, the state has created NJ Alert, a free, voluntary and confidential emergency alerting system that allows State Emergency Management officials to send e-mail or text messages to cell phones, and other e-mail enabled devices during an emergency event. The public can sign up for NJ Alert by visiting the NJOEM website and clicking on the NJ Alert icon there. 

Individuals can also sign up for individual county emergency alerts by visiting their county OEM office webpage. 


Smart911 allows citizens to provide the additional details that 9-1-1 call takers may need in order to assist them during an emergency. When you dial 9-1-1 today the information received by the 9-1-1 call center can be limited based on the type of phone you are calling on. With Smart911, anytime you make an emergency call from a phone registered with your Safety Profile, the 9-1-1 systems recognize your phone number and automatically displays your profile on the screen of the call taker who receives your call.

At a time when you may be panicked, or unable to communicate, or it could be unsafe to communicate, Smart911 ensures that the details you would need to tell 9-1-1 are immediately available in the event you cannot verbally provide them. Smart911 is free, private and secure. Find out more about this service and register here.

Special Needs Registry

NJ residents with special needs are encouraged to add their personal information to the Special Needs Registry. The information provided will be shared with emergency response agencies so that responders will be better equipped to serve registrants in the event of an emergency or evacuation in their area. No one else will have access to the information.

To keep this registry current, registrants are required to update their registration information each year. Learn more about this program and register online. Need help registering? Call 2-1-1 and a representative will assist you in the registration process.

First Aid for Natural Disasters

Instead of trying to avoid disasters, you're better off learning how to manage them. Understanding the health and safety risks associated with each type of disaster, and the critical first aid can make the difference in the aftermath of a storm. This Safety Guide is intended to give the tools and tips to keep you and your loved ones safe in times of disaster. 

Disaster Safety for Renters

This guide offers an overview of the most common types of natural disasters that put renters at risk each year, as well as tips and best practices for staying safe, protecting your belongings, and identifying warning signs of previous damage. This guide also provides guidance for choosing a comprehensive renters' insurance policy, and advice on how to break your lease, if you've sustained serious damage. 

Protect your Pets

Being prepared is critical to saving your pets when disaster strikes. Learn what you can do now. You can also read how the ASPCA suggests preparing for a disaster here.

The Humane Society of the United States has also put together a guide on How to Keep Pets Safe in Natural Disasters and Everyday Emergencies

Disaster Safety for People with Disabilities

Inclement weather is unpredictable, and it can be frightening and chaotic to handle at the moment. It's crucial to prepare and plan well in advance for any natural disaster that your area is prone to, especially if you have a disability that could require additional safety considerations. Find out more information on how to prepare for emergency weather here

Senior Emergency Preparedness

The following information is important for the seniors in your life in times of a disaster. Learn what you can do now. Find out more information on preparing for a disaster in this guide written for seniors by seniors in the attached document on the right side of this page. 

Choose Energy has also created a resource on 'Electricity Emergency Preparedness for Senior Citizens and Their Caretakers'. Visit their website to find out more information on Emergency Preparedness and Senior Safety. 

TSA Establishes Toll-Free Number for Air Travelers with Disabilities

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has launched a new helpline number for air travelers with disabilities and medical conditions. You can call TSA Cares toll free at 1-855-787-2227 before you travel for answers to questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint. TSA recommends that passengers call about 72 hours before traveling so that when needed, TSA Cares can coordinate checkpoint support with a TSA Customer Service Manager at the airport. The TSA Helpline is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM - 11:00 PM and on weekends and holidays from 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM. It is also accessible via e-mail. Visit TSA Cares to learn more.

For more information from the TSA on travel tips and security screening visit their website here. You can also find tips on traveling abroad safely here

Ready Kids Site Helps Teach Children Preparedness Skills

The Ready Kids website features age-appropriate, step-by-step instructions on what families can do to be better prepared and the role kids can play in this effort. It was designed as a tool to help parents and teachers educate children in grades 4-5 about emergencies and how they can help get their family prepared. Ready Kids is part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Ready campaign, a national public service advertising campaign designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to natural disasters, potential terrorist attacks and other emergencies.

Visitors to the site will find interactive games and material that is easily downloaded - designed so that children and their families will create an emergency kit and make a plan they can follow in times of emergency. The material is available to assist teachers and parents as well. Learn more.

Emergency Preparedness Programs for Small Business

New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJ OHSP) through the Private Sector Liaison conducts preparedness education and awareness programs statewide at no cost to help businesses of all sizes prepare for and recover from emergencies. These programs are also available to nonprofits, colleges, civic groups, state and local agencies. For more information contact: 609-584-4000.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 40-60% of small businesses close permanently after a disaster. Business.com has 4 Steps to Disaster Preparedness for Small Businesses

Protecting Children Once Disaster Strikes

Post-Disaster Reunification of Children: A Nationwide Approach illustrates the significance of whole community collaboration and inclusive emergency planning by providing a comprehensive overview of the coordination processes necessary to reunify children separated from their parents or legal guardians in the event of a large-scale disaster and reflects how the whole community - to include nongovernmental organizations such as Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, faith-based and community organizations, disability and pediatric organizations, Federal and private sector partners, and civic action committees - can work together to achieve one wide-ranging mission.

Text this page to someone: