During Hurricane Irene in late August and the Halloween snow storm in Jefferson, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) worked to keep the township safe and comfortable. The OEM is continuing that work with a preparedness education program and event operational plan that it presented to the township council at its meeting on Wednesday night.
OEM representatives Ed Mangold, Bill Craig and Andrew Schmidt presented the plan to the council.
“We want to educate residents to be prepared for a disaster or major weather event,” Mangold said of the education program. “The plan will reach out to adults and kids, as well as the business community.”
- A FEMA seminar entitled “Are You Ready” will be conducted at the library, Camp Jefferson, the Senior Center, the Health Center and Jefferson Chase.
- FEMA brochures will be available throughout town, as well as on the township website.
- The OEM will work with the Chamber of Commerce on how businesses can be prepared for a storm, flood or power outage. The Health Department will do presentations on township laws and policies, along with FEMA insurance information.
- Teachers will have access to FEMA’s “Kids Ready” program.
- Information on pending events will be posted on the township’s website.
- Preparedness information will be disseminated through local media, including Jefferson Patch.
- Residents will be educated on calling JCP&L about power outages. “Every single resident that is out of power needs to make that call,” Mangold said.
- Residents will be educated on what a state of emergency means, including the fact that no one beyond essential personnel should be on the roads.
The event operational plan includes:
- Opening an emergency operation center at town hall.
- Staff the township’s main phone line, 973-697-1500 for all non-emergency calls.
- OEM and CERT team leaders will be assigned to specific duties.
- Major road closures will be posted on township and county websites, as well as Jefferson Patch.
- Electronic message boards will be used for road closure information.
- Messages regarding available services for residents will be available on the township’s website, through the school district’s instant alert, through the Water Department’s Reverse 911, WSUS radio, and Jefferson Patch.
- Shelters will be open as necessary on both sides of town, with key locations including Camp Jefferson, the Health Center and the Senior Center. Overnight accommodations will be announced as needed. Shower facilities will be available at the high school and Mahlon Dickerson Reservation.