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Don't Wait for the Storms

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How do you prepare your kids for the worst while not inciting fear in them?

As a former resident of North Carolina, the state with the fourth highest occurrence of hurricanes in the U.S. (after Florida, Texas, and Louisiana), I’ve seen my share of bad storms. But having lived in the landlocked city of Raleigh, we were usually spared the brunt of the storms.

In 1997, however, we experienced an unusual phenomenon. Not only was the hurricane of a pretty strong intensity, but it was moving at a very rapid speed. When a hurricane hits land, it typically breaks up pretty quickly. But because of speed of the storm system, it was still classified as a hurricane as it reached the city of Raleigh.

Having just experienced days of soaking rain, the city was devastated by floods and trees that were literally uprooted. In those days, I was living as a single girl in an apartment. I was left without power and phone and in those days, internet and cell service weren’t commonplace.

I felt completely cut off from the world and ended up driving for several hours to make the typically short journey across town to my mother’s house.
Once I became a mother and a homeowner, I started viewing hurricanes with a different eye. Not only did I want to keep my family safe in the event of an emergency but I wanted to make sure that we were prepared for days, if not weeks without power.

Last October, Johnson & Johnson and its many employees in the northeast were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. As our communities, customers and employees struggled to get through the storm and recover in the aftermath, our company got to work – providing everything from food and fuel to first responders to preparing and pre-positioning 20,000 product kits with our partner in preparation for distribution to the hardest hits areas in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

After the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, Johnson & Johnson continued to provide both product and financial support to relief efforts. And we were proud of the many employees from the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies that worked with programs like Rebuild Staten Island to help residents of the communities who suffered severe damage to their homes after Hurricane Sandy.

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This year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting an active 2013 Atlantic hurricane season. In light of last year’s devastation, we’d like to help raise awareness for National Hurricane Preparedness Week this week.

FEMA provides a comprehensive online resource for hurricane preparedness that helps you to be informed, make a plan, build a kit, and get involved. And for kids, it’s important to get them involved too so they can feel like part of the process. FEMA offers great programs to help kids get prepared.

Do you have an emergency plan in your household? Share some of the ways you keep your family prepared for a weather emergency.

Fadra Nally is a Communications Specialist for Johnson & Johnson. When she’s not working, she’s mothering a precocious 6 year old in the suburbs of Baltimore, MD. In her spare time, she writes all.things.fadra, one of the Top 100 Mom Blogs for 2012 according to She’s also the co-founder of Charitable Influence.

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