Another Reminder about Preparing for an Emergency
I was recently provided with the following cheat sheet on how to prepare for an emergency. In the Northeast, winter is just starting - although I think we've had two snowfalls already. With Superstorm Sandy behind us and possibly winter snow storms coming in - I thought repeating the steps for Emergency Readiness would be helpful. But I also added some of my own thoughts, because, even with this great 3 step plan - there are difficulties in being prepared.
Through it's Ready Campaign the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA educates people to take some simple steps to prepare for emergencies.
There are 3 key things:
1. Get an emergency supply kit.
2. Make a family emergency plan
3. Be informed about the different emergencies.
1. Emergency supply kit. What should be in it?
- One gallon of water per person per day - too difficulty to assess because who was prepared to be without electricity, heat, running water from Superstorm Sandy - so our goal was to have at least enough water for a day or two - after that, we would had to leave our home and go somewhere with heat, hot water etc.,
- Flashlight and batteries - excellent and easy to obtain and keep available
- Battery powered radio- this became our only source of information - I'm not a millenial - I'm more like a baby boomer and sitting in a cold, dark house with only a battery powered radio was calming but aggravating because we could not see all the destruction that was being described. Also, our town was doing a local cablevision show about problems with running water - since we had no electricity in our home - we did not know about water problems. Small little towns have to do more in terms of getting the word out - at least one door knock on each block - we're not that big of a town.
- A three day supply of non-perishable food - doable, if you like canned foods
- Can opener - hand operated and able to find in the dark
- First Aid kit - see below comments
- Whistle to signal for help - good to know for next time.
Additional items to consider:
- Infant formula and diapers - OK
- Pet food - OK
- Prescription medication - how do I prepare for this? What doctor or pharmacist, for that matter, will provide me with a supply of meds, that I can put away for a rainy day - expiry dates come into mind, insurance company restrictions, refrigeration - really, how would someone have enough of their prescription meds for an additional month?
- Glasses - OK
- Sleeping bags - OK
- Warm blankets and clothes for each person - OK
- Moist towelettes and garbage bags - OK
- Important family documents in a water and fire proof container - OK - maybe have a duplicate set in a bank safe as well. I don't think that a fire/water proof container was of any use to the families along the shore lines who lost everything - it's just gone.
2. Make a family emergency plan.
- Decide how you will get in contact with each other during an emergency - you don't have control over how you will get in contact with anyone- no internet means no phone in some cases, no electricity means no landlines - you may not have a method of getting in touch.
- Where will you go? How will you know?
- Where will you meet? This is a good plan - after 9/11, my husband and I made a plan to meet at a specific point in our State - I doubt today that he would remember that plan so every once in a while, I'll bring it up - but I get that "eyeroll" and so I think he's filing this conversation away under "over vigilant wife" - or some other nonsense.
3. Be informed about the different emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses.
Superstorm Sandy gave us (my family) just a hint of what a real emergency might have been. I think we pulled together. We thank God that everyone in our family was OK and had options on where we could go. We pray for those who are still without homes, power, heat and everything else we take for granted everyday.
Hurricane Sandy Hotlines
Child Safety Identification Tips for New Jersey
Over the last few weeks, we've listened to Channel 12 report on the number of child lurings in a particular area of Northern New Jersey. It is frightening that these creeps (or creep, as visual identification is not all that reliable, especially from a child who has been frightened), are able to wander our streets, without our knowledge and prey on a child possibly walking alone, or behind a group of children. Why can't the police put GPS trackers on known sex offenders? Too bad about their civil liberties, they lost that right when they crossed the line with a child.
The small towns have all held their Stranger Danger awareness events, where children are fingerprinted and photographed, so that they have some sort of identification. However, fingerprints are not valid for a lifetime and of course, a child's photograph will change in a matter of months. Age progression photographic work is interesting, but the best form of identification of a human being is DNA. Unlike dentition and fingerprints, DNA is used for both life and death identification.
A parent or guardian, of an elderly patient or family member working in an unstable country, might want to have a genetic profile of their loved one readily available to offer local authorities in the event of an emergency. Local mom's clubs are gathering members' children for a day's worth of Child Safety Profiling and Pizza. A mom's club representative can call her local DNA collector (The DNA Lady does a good event) in New Jersey and set up a day or half day of DNA collections for children. Depending on the number of children to be profiled, one lucky mom can have her child's profile free and the DNA Lady will donate a portion of the proceeds to a charity of the Mom's Club choice.
Since we are upon that favorite season of most kids, Halloween, here are some general tips on Safeguarding your Ghouls and Goblins:
Clear your yard and sidewalk of any obstacles or decorations that may be hard to see in the dark, lest someone go bump in the night. Keep your house well lighted on both the inside and outside. Ask your Neighborhood Watch or local citizens’ group to patrol your community. Report any suspicious or criminal activities to your police department.
Try makeup instead of masks; it does not obstruct vision the way masks can. Keep costumes short to ensure that the only trip taken is the one around the neighborhood. Look for brightly colored costumes, attach reflector strips to costumes and bags, and remind trick-or-treaters to carry glow sticks and flashlights.
Make sure your trick-or-treater’s night in the neighborhood will be safe and fun
Kids should trick-or-treat in groups. Kids walking around alone are not as safe as those walking in groups. A parent or trusted neighbor should accompany younger kids. Review the route for trick-or-treating beforehand and set a time for when kids should be home. Also, have a plan if your child separates accidentally from his or her friends or from you.
Remember that the treats still need scrutiny before anyone eats them
Remind your children not to eat any treats until they have come home. To help ensure this, feed them a meal or a substantial, healthy snack before they go out. Check all treats at home in a well-lighted place. Be especially wary of anything that is not factory-wrapped or that is no longer sealed.
For more information and tips on Halloween safety, visit the National Crime Prevention Councint at www.ncpc.org.
Let's keep our New Jersey Kids safe and have a Spooky and Safe Halloween. Child Safety Identification Profiles are also a great gift from grandparents. Remember, NJ Patricia Law doesn't mandate authorities to collect DNA on a reported missing or loved one, for at least 30 days after the event. The authorities will then take personal items and/or family DNA to try and do a genetic profile of a missing or loved one. Have an accredited DNA Profile readily available for authorities to use is just another tool in safeguarding your children.
Fingerprints are Just Not Enough Anymore
Every year, just around this time, I hear of the local town's efforts to safeguard the town's children by hooking up with an insurance company to create a digital fingerprint of your child, along with a photograph and other identifying information. 1,2,3 - parents are of the opinion they have done the best they can in order to safeguard their children against harm that is unspeakable. I JUST WANT TO SCREAM because fingerprints done on a 5 year old in September are most probably useless as identifying information on that same 5 year old - 6 months later - think how quickly your child grows - his/her fingerprints will ultimately change as well. If an insurance company is taking your child's information, they are also taking your information and the bottom line is a sales lead tool for the company. You have to clearly state to the person collecting the information to remove your name and your family's information from any future mailings or beware you will begin to receive large postcards with the need for your family to insure something valuable in their life.
In the below except from a Forensic Magazine, we are beginning to hear the stirrings of honesty when it comes to the validity of fingerprints as "proof" positive.
Instead, today's family's have access to Child Safety Identification Kits - done by your local DNA collector. Your child's unique DNA profile will be provided along with the same digital photograph and identifying information that is collected during the local town's Stranger Danger safety nights; however, DNA DOES NOT CHANGE THROUGHOUT YOUR LIFE TIME and therefore, the Child's DNA is a valid, uptodate method of identification which can be provided to the local authority in the event of an emergency. Child Safety Identifications kits - are also a good tool for families of civilians working in unstable countries. Forget the backlog and bureaucracy of government retrieving DNA - keep a profile of your loved one safely in your home along with other identifying documents.
By Sue Russell
Scientist Nancy Wright documented snowflakes in 1988 while studying cirrus clouds for the National Center for Atmospheric Research. During a Wisconsin snowstorm she found two identical sets of snow crystals — identical under a microscope, at least — giving lie to the old belief that no two snowflakes are alike. That aura of uniqueness also surrounds the arches, loops and whorls at the tips of our fingers, and to this day most fingerprint examiners remain steadfast that no two fingerprints are exactly alike.
“Fingerprint examiners typically testify in the language of absolute certainty,” professor Jennifer Mnookin at the Univ. of California Los Angeles has written. But like many other claims for forensic science, the assertion that fingerprints are unique lacked a solid scientific basis and now is viewed with new caution.
“The language of certainty that examiners are forced to use hides a great deal of uncertainty,” the UK’s Lord Justice Leveson put it when addressing the Forensic Science Society.
The DNA Lady can set up a day of Child Safety Identifications in your home. Hose a CSI day and get one CSI Profile for free. Call The DNA Lady to set up your appointments before the weather gets too cold and minds are turned to holiday shopping and family dinners.
Child Safety Identification
Alert: Missing Child: Infinity Parker, 10, Female, Black, 4ft, 60 lbs.
Last seen: S. Clinton St, E. Orange at 7AM on 4/19.
Hi Guillermo Beytagh,East Orange Police Department seeks your help in
locating a missing child:
Infinity Parker, 10 years old, Female, Black, 4-ft, 60 lbs.
Last seen: Leaving the school yard at S. Clinton Street, East Orange at
7:45AM on Thursday 4/19/12 wearing a burgundy shirt, black jacket and grey
Instructions:If you have information that can assist in helping safely
locate INFINITY PARKER, please call Detective Caldwell, East Orange PD at
973-266-5030 or 973-266-5000.
For full details, _view this message on the web_
Using DNA Against Stranger Danger Actions
Run out into the middle of the road, scream really nasty words, scratch as hard as you can, kick in the groin, face, stomach, bite and bite hard (keep the evidence), throw rocks and throw your books - that is what I'd would tell my kids! Oh, what a horrible thing to tell your children but picture this - someone (anyone) comes up to my children while they are waiting on a cold, rainy morning for the school bus. The bus is late only because boots, umbrellas, rain ponchos (maybe called hoodies today) all take a little extra time to allow children to settle onto the bus once boarded. But mommy or daddy have a webinar at 9am and in internet world - 9am is 9am - even in the rain. The kids have been getting on the same bus now for a few weeks - we have all settled into a school schedule. If you read the papers in the last few years - abductors are not just creepy old men - but young female teachers, young male coaching assistants, the angry mother next door or the older teenager down the block. Better to teach a protective behavior than try and figure out who harbors some weirdo behavior in mind. Check your zipcode for the number of "sex offenders" in your 10 mile area.
So someone comes up to the bus stop and offers the wet and book laden kids a ride to school - using any excuse - the bus is stuck in traffic, the bus was cancelled due to weather, I'm going to your school now - I'm the school parking attendant? - in fact, one little girl thinks she knows the person behind the wheel and so she starts on her way into the car - but my children start to throw their books, yell at the person behind the wheel, kick the car, use their umbrella as a weapon - anything that will bring attention to the person behind the wheel and alert a neighbor or a passing car. By the way, as a neighbor you should have eyes on the street as well - just because they are not your kids - the world should know that your neighborhood has extra "eyes" watching. My children will begin to run or walk in the opposite direction the car is travelling. Hopefully, their actions will scare off the person behind the wheel - because I have taught my children to not behave!
My children behave for me - when I say and what I say and who I say and how I say and why I say - they do not have to listen to any other adult - unless I have given them the "say so" and/or the circumstances warrants another adult to be in charge of the situation (police, fire, teacher, coach or older sibling, grandparent or a relative I trust.) If that is the case, my children will have been told ahead of time or will have enough insight to understand the situation- otherwise they are too young to be left alone. In the 1960s, a kid could walk the streets of Brooklyn - buy a pack of gum or a "pound of ground round" at the local butcher and not be too worried about neighbors - everyone knew everyone - your parents knew all the neighbors and all your neighbors' business and the "odd" person(s) - was easily recognized. In the summer everyone sat on the front stoop and in the winter - everyone played in each other's homes or again out in the street - how cold could it be if you were playing kick ball anyway? With Central air, backyard decks and grills - we don't really see each other - in fact I would guarantee that some in our neighborhood would not recognize their neighbor if he/she wasn't standing in their driveway - that's what we've become.
By now most parents know all about Stranger Danger - all the little suburban towns have hosted a night out where the kids get fingerprinted and get to see the inside of the police car. The sad truth is that fingerprints and dentition (those toothprints offered by your friendly family dentist) are only used on a forensic basis (when the crime has already taken place) - so we feel we have guarded our children against danger. A fingerprint, especially of a child will change over a life time, toothprints - will definitely change from year to year and possibly from month to month during the first few years of school and each of these identifying factors are only used in a crime scene - that is the crime is over and done.
Today's parents, can have their child's DNA Safeguarded so that at any time a crime scene is swiped for DNA - if your child (or loved one) goes missing - you have an accurate record of your child's DNA that you can provide to the local authorities - not a genetic profile put together 30 days after the crime from items left behind or from relatives. DNA Safeguarding is just as easy as toothprints and/or fingerprinting and does not change over a chid's lifetime.
Now that kids are back to school, there are opportunities for those "creeps" to grab a child walking home from the bus, or school alone. A child who stayed late for an extra class, a group project or an athletic event - "grabbing" is an opportunistic event - majority of child abductions are based solely on opportunity. So while we have some "creeps" who get up in the morning and try to figure out a way to capture their prey - there are those among us who may have those tendencies but have not acted on them yet - and then a rare opportunity presents itself. Remind your children to always walk in groups - don't allow another child to walk alone in front or behind the group. Be the person in the group to include everyone. Teach your children a little about inclusion - it is good for their character anyway.
Some of the types of luring that goes on, whether during the summer months when children are more likely outdoors or during the winter months, when children may be walking home from school or a project are requests for assistance, bribery with something cute and cuddly like a puppy or a kitten, something sweet to eat - even money in some cases. Fake emergencies the child doesn't know about - all of these are tools used by abductors to lure a child into feeling safe about following the actions of this person. Teach your children "code words" - perhaps related to their favorite or first toy - so that they know this person has to know the code words - even in an emergency.
DNA Safeguarding parties happen all over the "affluent" neighborhoods, but Safeguarding your Child's DNA should not be considered a luxury - rather just another step using today's most up to date technology to protect your children. Call the DNA Lady and ask about hosting a DNA Safeguarding Party More importantly is to have a discussion with your children about stranger abductions and what he or she can do to avoid such a situation.
If a child has a live electrical wire in his hand...
The human body is a conductor of electricity. The muscles in your body are controlled by very small electrical signals.
If a child comes in contact with a “live wire”, there is a tendency for the muscles to contract with force when the electrical current takes control. If the situation is one that causes his body to freeze then the child will not be able to free himself.
You must be prepared to take quick action, all without harming yourself.
- You can unplug the power source if the plug is near by.
- Shut off the power at the circuit breaker panel if it’s close.
- Grab a wooden broom handle and use it to push the child away from the electrical source.
Your quick thinking may save his life.
If the person is not breathing and is unresponsive, ask someone to call 911 and start CPR.
The most dangerous poisons for children…
The most dangerous poisons for children include the following. Be sure to check the poison prevention tips to protect your loved ones.
Nail glue remover and nail primer:
Windshield washer solution and antifreeze:
Back to School and Child Safety Ideas
Wow - it is the 3rd week of August and although we've been seeing those "back to school sales" since June - it really is just about back to school time. I don't have to go back to school anymore, but I still can't stand those "back to school" commercials on TV. Why do they have to remind me that my favorite time of the year, summer, is just about ending. You can feel it at night - it's dark by 8pm, the pool is a degree cooler than last month, the mosquitoes are huge and even football has made an appearance on our TV. Is life moving faster because it is all downhill after 40? Who knows? But here's a safety tip for parents, getting ready to move into "school mode".
Along with yearly medical exams, dental visits, new school clothes or updated pieces of uniforms (if you're lucky) have a DNA Profile taken of your child instead of those inky, outdated fingerprints offered by local police stations at stranger danger days. Unless it is a digitzed fingerprint - it is not as valuable as a DNA Profile, in the unfortuate event of a missing child or loved one. Although having your child's DNA profile will not locate a missing child, it is an additional tool in your kit to help safeguard children. Can anyone safely walk to school anymore?
Many DNA collectors have partnered with their local dentists (www.oscarfgrobdmd.com) so that a simple DNA collection can be performed on the same day as your child's yearly dental appointment. A Child Safety Identification Profile is fast, painless (no needles) and priceless. If your dentist does not have the newest technology to safeguard your child (DNA Child Safety Identification Profile) ask him to contact the local DNA collector or contact the local DNA collector yourself. Many DNA collectors also offer discounts to groups of 10 or more - have a CSI Party at your home and let the DNA Lady create your child's unique DNA Profile and identifying documents in a party like atmosphere. The hostess gets a free Child Safety Identification DNA Profile of one child (or more) depending on total number of participants.
In the event, your child does go missing - don't wait - call 911 - there is no such thing as waiting 24 hours to report a missing child - gone are those days. Your local authority will collect as much identifying information as possible about your missing loved one but they will not necessarily run a DNA sample. Having a CSI Profile readily available arms them and you with today's most up to date technology for safeguarding children.
Here are a few other actions that can be taken to generate awareness in the event a child or loved one goes missing:
- Media attention will generate leads.
- Volunteers can organize many events that will keep the story in the hearts and minds of the public.
- Organize students who will distribute posters and flyers.
- Appearances on radio or television talk shows by parents (radio can be done in-studio by telephone, live or taped.)
- Radio stations all across the state can be asked to play your child’s favorite song or a song selected by parents, e.g., “Somewhere Out There” from “An American Tale” and have the song dedicated to the child.
- Hold a rally at the child’s school with music and prayers.
- Organize a benefit dance and/or auction.
- Contact area sports teams to include photos and story in their programs and possibly have a P.A. announcement made at games.
- Produce buttons or T-shirts with your child’s name.
- Dedication of a garden or a tree to the child.
- Hold a candlelight vigil indoors or outdoors.
- Bowling tournaments, marathons, etc. dedicated to your child.
- Contact banks or local businesses to dedicate a Christmas tree/lights to the child.
- Contact radio stations offering to do a telephone interview to remind people to keep watching and looking for the child.
- Have classmates do a letter writing campaign, writing to friends and families across the country telling about the missing child.
- Organize a human chain linking communities school to school, house to church, etc. Radio stations can help organize the crowd. Ask sports celebrities to participate.
- Public Service Announcements and appeals for help on radio and television.
- Mass release of helium filled balloons imprinted with child’s name, or with information about the missing child inside.
The above tips are taken from the Laura Recovery Center Manual. One of the most important tips, is to take care of yourself - get sleep, eat properly and take help from neighbors, friends and family. Keep a "visitor's log" of everyone who enters your home after the incident. Get copies of local newspapers - from the day or week before the incident, the day of the incient and the week after the incident - this will give you an idea of any new workers in the area - road construction, home construction, utility vehicles, cable networks - they are possible witnesses as well as possible suspects. Ask local utility companies to identify the days their representatives are in your neighborhood - again possible witnesses or suspects.
An ounce of prevention today is worth a pound of cure tomorrow. Teach your children to protect their own boundaries. Reinforce to them to bring attention to themselves in the event that someone (anyone) is bothering them, talking to them, interfering with them, following them, threatening them. Someone and anyone includes family members, neighbors, teammates, facebook buddy, school mates, strangers in cars, vans, carpools - people at sporting events, grocery stores, malls, block parties - the next door neighbor's visiting uncle, brother, grand parents - someone is anyone not necessarily a man in a tan raincoat these days and sadly teachers and educators are included in this lot.
Having proper identifying documents (Child Safety Identification DNA Profile) and information readily available to distribute to your local authority and other centers (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) will help you feel you have done everything in your power to safeguard your children.
Happy Back to School Days (ugh.)
HERE RESTS IN HONORED GLORY AN AMERICAN SOLDIER KNOWN BUT TO GOD
Those are the words inscribed at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers in the United States. There are over 40 other countries who followed the British example and established a national memorial for the "unknown" soldiers who fought valiently for their countries. No matter what country or belief, there are young men and women all over the world who have fought on behalf of their governments for their families, children and friends. We have to thank god there are people out there willing and/or able to interrupt their own lives and defend a way of life. A special thanks to the families of our armed forces who were never able to identify or receive back the remains of their loved ones. Imagine, having that picture in your mind of your son or daughter in uniform going off to first learn how to and then fight for their country - the tears of joy and fear and the swelling pride as they march onto a plain, bus or train for camp. The strong bodies of young men and women who have chosen to protect us. Yet, there are thousands of unidentified men and women in these cemeteries all over the world, who families never got to say their last goodbye - never really accepting the loss. I can't imagine that the moms and dads don't still "hope" or "dream" at night, that perhaps the military was wrong, that my son or daughter is just missing and the phone will ring one day soon.
With the increased use of DNA technology today, perhaps these monuments to the Unknown Soldier have received their last soldier.
This weekend, as we all set off in our cars, or start of the barbecue, or open the pool - please remember at 3:00 pm on Monday is set aside as a moment to remember and give thanks. If you know of a family with relatives in the military - go over and purposefully thank them for their sacrifice.
In New Jersey, there are Memoral Day Parades in almost every little town. If you google - Memorial Day Parade + New Jersey there are over 422,000 entries. All week I've heard how President Obama is bucking the tradition and not attending a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. Memorial Day is not for politics and besides it is just not true that he is the first to not attend the Arlington National Cemetery ceremony. Memorial Day is not about Democrat or Republican - it is not about White or Black, Confederate or Union, Christian or Muslim - it is for remembering those who died in the service of their country. Does it matter where President Obama goes as long as he is bringing honor to the memory of our men and women in the military? There are over 144 National Cemeteries where more than 3.4 million veterans of every war and conflict from the Revolutionary War to the present day Wars in Irag and Afghanistan are buried. The Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery outside of Chicago, IL actually boasts the first soldier burial site in 1862 whereas Arlington claims 1864 was their first soldier burial. It was also President Lincoln's congress, who signed into legislation a law enabling the President to purchase cemetery grounds to be used as national cemeteries.
There is still honor is what President Obama is doing and although it is not what we think we are used to - he is setting aside a time and keeping in the minds of the American people, that on Monday we will honor our fallen heroes. That's all that needs to be said - Honor the men and woman of our military who sacrificed their lives so that you and I can continue to pursue happiness in the manner to which we are accustomed and let's hope that one day soon, we will have no more "unknown' soldiers, no more fallen heroes and less need to sacrifice the lives of so many.
DNA Child Safety Identification for New Jersey
Using DNA to Safeguard your Children
With all the news about the young lady kidnapped in California years ago and the authorities just now finding her in the backyard of a Registered Sex Offender, everyone has heightened awareness of safeguarding their children. When the news starts to dwindle and is no longer in the headlines or part of TV Talk shows, we will all go back to our daily lives and continue with the thinking "well this won't happen in my neighborhood".
Check this out - Family Watchdog, a national registry for Sex Offenders lists over 40 Sex Offenders in the Edison, Metuchen, East Brunswick, Iselin, Scotch Plains, Plainfield and Cranford, New Jersey zipcodes as follows:
- 08817 Edison has 4 Registered Sex Offenders
- 08840 Metuchen has 1 Registered Sex Offender
- 08820 Edison has 3 Registered Sex Offenders
- 08830 Iselin has 4 Registered Sex Offenders
- 07090 Westfield has 2 Registered Sex Offenders
- 07060 Scotch Plains/Plainfield has 22 Registered Sex Offenders
- 07016 Cranford has 3 Registered Sex Offenders
- 08816 East Brunswick has 5 Registered Sex Offenders
Family Watchdog is a free search using your zipcode. If your zipcode is not listed above go to the site and find the number of Registered Sex Offenders in your area.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children advises that every parent should have a DNA profile of their child. While DNA will not find a missing child or loved one, it will assist the authorities in their search. If you have already taken a paternity test, then you have a record of your child's DNA profile.
Your local DNA collector probably offers some type of DNA Profile or Safeguarding Feature that can be done privately in their office or at your home. Why not host a DNA Child Safety Identification Party of your own. Call you local DNA Collections expert and find out how to set up an afternoon of DNA collection and child identification certificates.
The DNA Lady owns a local DNA collection facility in Metuchen, New Jersey offering DNA tests to confirm paternity, maternity,siblingship, and avuncular relationships. DNA testing is also used in Infidelity and Forensic cases. DNA testing is painless and private and most importantly has become an affordable consumer friendly service.
Child Safety Identification
In today's society, DNA technology is so overwhelmingly consumer friendly and present in the media, one would think that DNA would be collected immediately at the notice or mention of a missing person. According to statistics, every 26 seconds another child becomes lost or missing. Did you know that nearly 2,000,000 American children are kidnapped, lost, missing or run away every year? However, in many states it is not law, or common practice for local authorities to collect DNA samples from the home, family membersor personal possessions of a reported missing child or loved one until well into the event. In fact, it was only less than one year ago that the State of New Jersey enacted Patricia's Law which allows for the collection of a reference DNA sample, 30 days after a reported missing child or loved one, if the missing person is not considered high risk. Many parents and legal guardians, living in the bucolic towns of New Jersey, have the "not in my town" ideology. The routine "fingerprint and photograph day" at the local "stranger danger" seminars are considered to be enough when it comes to protecting children. Why not take advantage of the newest technology DNA Typing to protect children and track/trace them in the nightmarish event of abduction or loss. Baby boomers live in a sandwich generation, where we are taking care of children as well as our senior adults parents. DNA Typing of an individual provides comfort knowing that if that person becomes lost or missing, you have a DNA profile available to provide to the local authorities (rather than waiting for them) to assist in their search for your missing child or loved one.
The key points of "Patricia's Law" are as follows:
A law enforcement agency shall accept without delay any report of a missing person and cannot refuse to accept such reports for any reason.
Provides a detailed breakout of the specific information to be gathered and recorded by law enforcement about the missing person.
After 30 days missing, ensures that a DNA reference sample is secured from the family of the missing person and forwarded to the appropriate agency for analysis and ultimately entry into CODIS (mp) , the Combined DNA Index System for Missing Persons, to check for a match. Once the DNA profile is available, the missing persons record in the National Crime Information System (NCIC), will be updated to reflect that DNA is available.
Improves the system of communication between law enforcement and the person making the report, a family member, or any other person in a position to assist law enforcement in locating the missing person, including informing the person filing the missing persons report of the existence of two clearing houses for missing person's information. If the person reported missing is age 17 or under, the person filing the report shall be provided with contact information for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. If the person reported missing is age 18 or older, the person filing the report shall be provided with contact information for the National Center for Missing Adults.
Law enforcement shall immediately determine if the missing person is deemed "high-risk" and will take immediate action. The NJ State Police Missing Persons Unit resources will be available as needed.
The Attorney General will provide information to local law enforcement concerning best practices and protocols for handling death scene investigations.
Improve procedures for handling human remains and communication with the family.
In the Northeast, we are all familiar with the; events of 911. DNA was used to help identify the victims who were lost in the attack. "DNA was used when other technologies, such as the use of fingerprints, surgical scars and dental records could not be employed. DNA helped bring closure to countless families who suffered the loss of loved ones and might not have otherwise been able to find the closure they so desperately needed." (Source: Sara Kugler, DNA Identifies Trade Center Victims, October 24, 2001 (Associated Press)
Complete latest version of Patricia Law
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
INTRODUCED OCTOBER 16, 2006
Senator LORETTA WEINBERG
District 37 (Bergen)
"Patricia's Law;" model Missing Persons Legislation.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
As reported by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on June
18, 2007, with amendments.
S2255 [2R] WEINBERG
Child Safety Identification Profile
DNA has become the "gold standard" for all identification matters.
DNA is a key element of what families should have on hand for their children's identification. Like fingerprints and dentition, DNA will not help find a missing child but is used to identify someone.
NCMEC strongly encourages parents and guardians to take a DNA sample of their children as a precautionary measure in case their children become missing. No one should store DNA except parents and guardians."
We are posting this notice about a young girl missing from Nutley, NJ, because we received a request from njville.com to assist in their efforts. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Taylor and we pray for her safe and speedy return.
UPDATE 7-17-09 - SHE HAS BEEN FOUND
NUTLEY POLICE SEARCHING FOR MISSING 13-YEAR-OLD GIRL
|Posted: July 16, 2009
Reply: Click Here
UPDATE 7-17-09 - SHE HAS BEEN FOUND
Child Safety in New Jersey
Are Middlesex County's Streets really Safe Anymore?
Another local Metuchen, NJ 08840 newspaper reported an attempted kidnapping of a 45 year woman at an office building on Durham Avenue in Metuchen, NJ. The headline of this local newspaper read "Metuchen police charge man with attempted kidnapping" If you've been following my blog, you'll remember that since last October , I blogged about two other incidents one in Metuchen where teenagers and young men from Brooklyn were involved and one in nearby Edison where a young child walking ahead of her parent was approached by a man in a van. I remember those "man in vans" on the streets of Brooklyn and running passed them as fast as possible to catch up to a crowd of kids walking together. Even t hen we knew there was safety in numbers. But that was in the 1960s, and while the exposure was psychological harmful - today's "man in van" seem to have less fear and more bravado as they approach and snatch young children on the streets. We do not live in Oz anymore, the once bucolic town of Metuchen is now exposed to the charms of the outside world. Whether it is the economy, changing culture or what - times are dangerous and it is important for children to know Stranger Danger rules, how to protect themselves, who they should trust (police officer, school principals, firemen) so that in the frightful event of a stranger abduction - rather than panic, the children feel they have some control over the situation. Make noise, remember 911, leave your clothes (jacket shoes T shirt somewhere) but most importantly have a plan. Who will they call, what is the code word for family members and who maintains the child's DNA Genetic Profile. A one time Child Safety Identification Safety Kit contains all the identifying information an authority will collect from you in the event of an emergency. It's fun to collect (Have a CSI Party) , non-invasive and the 21st century method of safeguarding your children. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says only parents or legal guardians should have access to their child's DNA Profile.
Repubishing previous entry:
Does anyone read the fine print these days - I don't mean the small print at the bottom of your small appliance contract - I mean the fine print still found in black and white ink newspapers that concern your neighborhood events.
In local 08817,08818,08820,08837,08899 and 08840, there are still freely distributed newspapers that have quietly reported on two worrisome events in the last 5 months, not usually associated with these zipcodes.
The first headline read "Two men charged with Luring in Metuchen" and the second read "Edison Police search for man who may have approached girl". These reports are frightening to any parent with young children. There's no follow up or closing copy to these cases, so we can only assume that either the events are isolated or that these individuals are out on our streets just looking for an opportunity.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reports that every 26 seconds another child becomes lost or missing. Nearly 2,000,000 American children per year are lost, kidnapped, missing or runaway. While DNA or dentition cannot locate a missing person, DNA is the gold standard of human identification and can assist authorities in the time of emergency.
For parents who have already gone through the Paternity Testing process, the upside benefit is that you have a DNA Profile of your child to offer to local authorities, in the event a child becomes lost, missing, or kidnapped. For the modern, 21st Century parent, the best method to safeguard your school aged child - is to have a DNA Profile taken by a private facility and kept with your child's other identifying documents. A genetic profile is also recommended for Alzheimer's patients and civilians working in foreign countries considered at risk, or civilians working in high risk occupations, such as police, and firemen.
Check with your local dentist or childcare facility to determine if they participate in the Child Safety Identification programs being offered by local DNA collection sites. Set up a Child Safety Day and have a DNA collector come to your site. Today's DNA collection is non-invasive and within 3-5 business days, parents can add another tool in the Safeguarding of their children.