By: Jenia Jones
We all remember Hurricane Sandy and how many were not prepared for it. How many cases of water did you have on hand? Did you have batteries? A flashlight? Jewish Family Services of Metrowest New Jersey, Senior Corps RSVP, PSEG and UVSO partnered for an event to create over 1,000 emergency supply bags for the senior citizen community of Newark. The event was held at the UVSO Teen Center on Thursday, July 21, 2016, and kicked off with opening remarks Councilman Joseph McCallum.
“Most people are not prepared for disasters even when they think they are,” said David Morgan the guest speaker from Safety First who provides disaster preparedness training for EMT’s and other community entities.
The items in each of the bags are a glimpse into what is needed to be SAFE and PREPARED in a disastrous storm or other emergency scenario. The kits included water bottles to stay hydrated, hand sanitizer in case water turns brown or becomes contaminated in another way, flashlights in case power goes out, a can opener for non-perishable items, first aid kit, and a survival blanket.
What made the effort even better is the fact that the senior community created the bags themselves. The partners were helping the seniors, but the seniors were helping the organizers too. That’s always a good fit. By the end of the day – two shifts later, nearly 1200 kits were complete reaching the partnership’s goal.
The bags will be distributed throughout the city of Newark over the next several weeks. If you know a senior age 60 and over who could use an emergency kit, contact Debra Friday, Senior Services Manager at UVSO via 973.374.2000 x. 1401 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to check out the UVSO Senior Center on Facebook!