FREEHOLD, NJ — In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, Monmouth County residents are being encouraged to “Know Your Zone” before a weather emergency occurs in this area.
Know Your Zone is a public education campaign implemented by the county’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to inform the residents, businesses and visitors of the new coastal evacuation zones and their vulnerability to storm surge.
“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. For more information about your zone, visit www.mcsonj.org/knowyourzone.
To assist seniors specifically in the event of an emergency or disaster, the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office offers STORM (Seniors Taking on Readiness Measures). The program equips those who are among the most vulnerable population with emergency preparedness information, including assisting them in creating a family disaster plan and providing them with an emergency kit.
“After Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy impacted Monmouth County with mandatory evacuations and the need to shelter residents, it was recognized that many people did not have a family emergency plan. Thanks to our STORM program that has changed,” said Sheriff Shaun Golden. “STORM, which is presented throughout Monmouth County, provides people with the tools to build a plan in an effort to strengthen resiliency and sustainability, and expedite recovery during emergencies and disasters.”
During the program, seniors are provided with a family disaster plan booklet, which asks for personal, family, work, medical, insurance, emergency and evacuation-related information. Once the booklet is completed, they are then provided with a free emergency supply kit, which includes basic necessities for use during an emergency. Upcoming STORM programs will be presented in Holmdel, Howell, Morganville and SCAN at the Monmouth Mall, Eatontown. STORM programs can be scheduled by calling the Office of Emergency Management in the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office at 732-431-7400.
The 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: https://www.mcsonj.org/downloadapp/.
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.
For the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through Nov. 30, forecasters at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center predict a 45 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 35 percent chance of a near-normal season, and only a 20 percent chance of a below-normal season.
Forecasters have predicted a 70 percent likelihood of 11 to 17 named storms, of which five to nine could become hurricanes, including two to four major hurricanes. An average season produces 12 named storms of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.
New Jersey’s Office of Emergency Management also offers a free hurricane survival guide. Download it here http://www.state.nj.us/njoem/plan/hurricanes.html.
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