SUMMIT, NJ - On Friday morning, Dec. 7, the Suburban Chamber of Commerce held a networking breakfast at the Summit Grand Hotel at which Assemblyman Jon Bramnick spoke about Hurricane Sandy and the relief efforts.
Bramnick said in the past six weeks, he has learned more about FEMA and emergency management than he has ever known. He explained that normally in an emergency, people call the mayor who then speaks to the town’s emergency manager, but in many areas during Sandy, the local officials were unreachable because of the storm's impact so Bramnick’s office received numerous calls.
The assemblyman jokingly said it’s not good to complain to the governor during an emergency. However, he said Governor Christie was impressed with the communication amongst elected officials.
“I really learned about trying to stay in this network,” Bramnick said.
After surviving Sandy, Bramnick said he now knows how important FEMA is for the nation. He said most people have insurance, but very few actually read their policies. Everyone definitely does now, he said.
Bramnick said he has concerns about JCP&L. He said they did a terrible job, lacked communication and they need to create strategies so people can be reached faster.
“I thought they deserved an F,” he said.
On the other hand, he said PSE&G was impressive because they were honest with their customers.
Dan Cronheim, who has seen Bramnick speak before, said he enjoys his comedy, especially during situations like Hurricane Sandy.
“I think he’s always straight forward and honest,” Cronheim said. “I think he tells you what’s happening and he doesn’t sugarcoat it and it’s not doom and gloom.”
Dr. Pat Smith said he likes listening to Bramnick and with two family members who lost homes due to the storm, his words meant a lot. He also echoed Bramnick’s sentiment about the lack of communication.
“I think we really saw with this superstorm that there was a lack of adequate communication,” Smith said.