A public health emergency includes:
- Chemical emergencies
- Contaminated drinking water
- Disease outbreaks
- Natural disasters
- Pandemic influenza
- Radiation emergencies
- Severe weather
- Other emergencies that threaten the public's health
Actions to Take
Depending on the type of emergency you may be instructed to take different actions. You may have to evacuate your home or workplace and follow an evacuation route to the nearest shelter. If the emergency is health related such as an act of bioterrorism or a pandemic you may be directed towards a dispensing site to receive necessary medications. You may be asked Shelter-in-Place, which means to remain in your workplace or home to protect yourself during an emergency. It is important to listen to the radio or TV for further instructions.
Make a Kit
The Princeton Health Department actively participates in public health preparedness exercises and provides the public with resources to help them prepare and respond to emergencies. It is important to prepare yourself and your family in case a public health emergency occurs. Important items to include in your kit:
- Documents- hold on to family documents such as bank records, birth certificates, and insurance policies.
- Electronics- flashlights, cellphones, batteries, and a radio.
- Food- store a 3-day supply of nonperishable food. This includes canned soup, canned vegetables, nuts, dry pasta, etc.
- Medicine- make sure you have at least a 3-day supply of all your medications.
- Personal care items- soap, a toothbrush, baby wipes and blankets/sleeping bags.
- Pets- store a 3-day supply of:
- Cleaning supplies
- Cleaning supplies
- Food and water
- Medical records
- A pet first aid kit
- Water- store at least one gallon of water per day per person for three days; however, you should try to reserve a two week supply of water.
How Businesses Can Prepare
It is extremely important for businesses to have an emergency management plan in place. Many businesses cannot afford to reopen after an emergency strikes, thus it is important to be proactive and have a plan in place. New Jersey has created a checklist for businesses to see how they can prepare and recover in case of a public health emergency.
In the event of an emergency, employees may be stuck in their workplace for hours or days. Businesses should have a disaster supplies kit that includes food, water, first aid supplies, medications, flashlight, and a radio.
For more information on emergency preparedness, financial assistance, and disaster cleanup for your business visit the Small Business Administration website.
Protect Your Employees
As a business, it is extremely important to protect your employees during a public health emergency. Protecting your employees and their family will benefit the whole community and your business. If your employees are healthy, your business can continue to operate. Your business may be eligible to become a closed dispensing site for medications during a public health emergency. View helpful information on becoming a closed dispensing site (PDF).
Coping with Public Health Emergencies & Disasters
Public health emergencies and disasters can be traumatizing for many people. If needed, it is important to get help for yourself as well as for your children. View the following resources for more information: