Elmo, PSE&G unveil emergency preparedness apps at Newark day care center

By Jessica Mazzola | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
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on October 07, 2014

Elmo helped unveil the new apps at a Newark day care center today.


NEWARK — Two nonprofits teamed up to unveil a pair of apps designed to help families prepare children for natural disasters. Sesame Workshop and the PSEG Foundation unveiled the new free apps, Let’s Get Ready: Planning Together for Emergencies, and Here For Each Other: Helping Families After Emergencies, today at an event at the Ironbound Early Learning Center in Newark, the foundations announced.

“The Ironbound section of Newark was the only location within the city to be flooded” during Superstorm Sandy in 2012, the foundations said in a release explaining why they chose to introduce the apps in the state’s largest city. The two are also planning a follow-up event in Long Beach, Long Island, another community hit particularly hard by Hurricane Sandy.

“We all try our best to be prepared for an emergency like Superstorm Sandy. But we may not always know when a crisis will strike, which is why it’s so critical for families to talk about action plans proactively,” Ellen Lambert, President of the PSEG Foundation, said in a release about today’s event.

“In preparing for an emergency, everyone in the family needs to be involved in planning, including young children. This unique partnership with Sesame Workshop will help ensure that there are tangible long-term impacts to helping families be prepared.”

The PSEG Foundation has pledged $1.3 million to develop family-friendly emergency preparation tools, the groups said.

Organization representatives joined Elmo today at the Ironbound day care center to introduce kids and parents to the apps, which include information on how to prepare for a disaster beforehand, and cope with the results of one afterwards. They also include online videos and downloadable resources that parents can get for free to help prepare their children, the organizations said. Sesame Street characters are used to explain many of the tips to kids, they said.

“Sesame Workshop, with our beloved Sesame Street Muppets, has always addressed educational and community needs through the creative use of media,” Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, Senior Vice President for Community and Family Engagement at Sesame Workshop, said in the release.

She said she hopes the apps will help “families not only create stronger children, but stronger communities as a whole through our emergency preparedness and response initiative.”

PSEG plans to have volunteers distribute flyers about the apps at parks, and to child care centers in Newark, Jersey City, Camden, and Trenton.

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