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On the Safe Side

by Jill Santandrea, Broker Manager, EXIT Homestead Realty Professionals

We are still in the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30. The weather in our area has been worsening this season; we are not supposed to have tornados in our little piece of paradise. Let’s talk about preparing for weather emergencies.

• Know the Risks: No matter where you live, you may be susceptible to one or more emergency situations, including earthquakes, wildfires, flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes or blizzards. Although some events may provide advanced warning, others are hard to predict. Many of them may lead to extended power outages; however, if you live where they’re likely, having a plan will help you prep for the next event. Other emergencies can happen at any time, such as a house fire.

• Decide on an Emergency Meeting Place: Emergency situations are chaotic. In the midst of the confusion, it can be difficult to get in touch with loved ones. Decide on a meeting place with your family ahead of time. Your safe area may depend on the event. In the case of a tornado or hurricane, stay away from windows and take cover in an interior room of your home on the lowest floor.

• Make a Plan: Create a spreadsheet that includes names of each family member, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, doctors’ names, places of work, schools. Plan several safe evacuation routes and make sure everyone is familiar with them. Assign roles to have someone turn off utilities, another to pack important documents and another to grab pets. Give everyone a responsibility to ensure nothing important is left behind.

• Collect Important Documents: Organize important documents in one place so you can easily grab them. Keep any flash drives, removable hard drives or other storage media in the same location.

• Practice: Review and practice your new plan regularly with family members. Practice what to do in the event of a fire, especially with young ones, who tend to hide when they are scared and that would be the worst possible thing to do.

• Stay Connected: Sign up for text alerts from local emergency services. Also, download weather apps to your smartphone. Text your family to let them know you’re safe.

• Remember Your Pets: Our pets are family members, too. Get a window sticker to let rescuers know if your pets are inside or have been evacuated. An emergency kit for a pet should include three to seven days’ food and water as well as documents, such as copies of a pet’s medical records, and current photos in case you’re separated.

Jill Santandrea, Broker Manager, EXIT Homestead Realty Professionals LLC, 1070 E Chestnut Ave, Vineland, NJ 08360; 856-692-EXIT; Cell: 856-362-0967; Direct: 888-856-5455;; E-mail:; Text JillS to 85377 for my mobile business card. Listen to Jill on 99.9FM SNJ Radio Today. Source: 2019 Buffini & Company