Community Announcements

Monmouth County: Knowing Your Coastal Evacuation Zone is Crucial During Peak Hurricane Season

This map taken from Monmouth County’s Know Your Zone website shows the four different zones for Belmar and Lake Como, with red being the most vulnerable for storm surge and blue being the least. Credits: Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office
Know Your Zone informs residents, businesses and visitors of the new coastal evacuation zones and their storm surge vulnerability, helping officials target evacuation orders to those at the most risk. Credits: Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office
Know Your Zone signs are being placed alongside Coastal Evacuation Route signs in coastal communities throughout Monmouth County, including the Belmar/Lake Como area. Credits: Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office
Residents can have emergency notifications and public safety information at their fingertips through Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office app for smartphones. Credits: Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office

FREEHOLD, NJ — Do you know your coastal evacuation zone? Before a weather emergency occurs, Monmouth County officials are urging residents to learn their zone, particularly if they live in communities like Belmar and Lake Como, which sit in the most vulnerable areas for storm surge.

During National Preparedness Month, the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office is pushing the importance of the county’s Know Your Zone program as New Jersey enters the peak of hurricane season — and in light of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which recently pounded the southeastern portion of the country, as well as upon the five-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, which devastated the Jersey Shore in 2012.

The first of its kind in New Jersey, the Know Your Zone program allows the county’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to direct any evacuation instructions to those at the greatest risk of experiencing storm surge during major coastal storms.

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 “This information is particularly vital during hurricane season,” said Michael Oppegaard, Monmouth County OEM coordinator. “The plan identifies specific coastal evacuation zones (A, B, C and D), which helps emergency management officials target evacuation orders to those areas that are at the most risk, based upon threat, strength, direction and forecasted storm surge.”

The four distinct zones — A, B, C and D — will allow for a clearer and more decisive messaging when evacuations are needed. As the public becomes aware of which zone they are in, evacuation messaging will be directed toward a specific zone.

Since the program is directly connected to Monmouth County’s Coastal Evacuation Plan, some 70 Know Your Zone signs are being placed alongside Coastal Evacuation Route signs in coastal communities throughout Monmouth County, including the Belmar/Lake Como area.

“Monmouth County leads the way in storm preparedness, and I’m pleased to see the interest and participation in such a vital program to our coastal communities,” said Freeholder Serena DiMaso. “As liaison to OEM, I can’t stress enough how important it is to have this information prior to a storm.”

Since the Know Your Zone program launched in September 2016, nearly 6,500 people have visited the site to learn in which zone they are located. For more information about your zone, visit www.mcsonj.org/knowyourzone.

 

Other Ways to Stay Safe During a Weather Emergency

The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office is also urging residents to have emergency notifications and public safety information at their fingertips, through the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office app for smartphones. The application is designed for Android and iOS platforms and can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. 

The app provides instant access to sheriff’s office-related information, which includes real-time emergency notifications through its integrated push notification system that automatically displays the message on the phone. Users are able to be instantly alerted to weather or other emergency related situations from the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office and its Office of Emergency Management.

New Jersey’s Office of Emergency Management also offers a free hurricane survival guide. Download it here.

 

 

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