Monmouth County: Sheriff Shaun Golden is reinforcing the message to prepare, plan, stay informed and get involved as National Preparedness Month gets underway Sept. 1. National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security is an effort to educate the public on how to prepare for emergencies.
“The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with numerous agencies, prepares for emergencies such as natural disasters, mass casualties and chemical threats throughout the year, by conducting drills, training, tabletops exercises and educational programs,” said Sheriff Shaun Golden whose agency runs the Office of Emergency Management. “These efforts are critical in ensuring that we can effectively and efficiently respond to crises situations, but, it’s vital the pubic plays a role as well, by preparing, planning and staying informed.”
One of the many ways the sheriff’s office assists the public in disaster preparedness is through its STORM Program. Seniors Taking on Readiness Measures was created as a result of Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy. It equips those who are among the most vulnerable populations with emergency preparedness information, assists them in providing a family disaster plan and provides them with an emergency kit.
The program will be presented in Shrewsbury, Keansburg, Manasquan and Howell during National Preparedeness Month.
“Many residents are well informed and involved, but they fall short in creating a plan and building the kit,” said Mike Oppegaard, OEM Coordinator. “STORM gives them that plan and equips them with the basic necessities in the event they need to go to a shelter.”
The sheriff’s office is also reinforcing to residents to have emergency notifications and public safety information at their fingertips, through the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office Application (app) for smartphones. The application is designed for Android and iOS platforms and can be downloaded for free.
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 the agency’s Office of Emergency Management.
“It can be challenging during emergency situations to provide consistent, official messages to a large group of residents. In addition to social media and our website, this app is another tool that we have to keep the public informed and encourage all residents to utilize,” said Sheriff Golden.
In addition to the ongoing efforts of emergency preparedness, the sheriff’s office, in partnership with Neptune Township OEM, will be participating in the September 30th America’s PrepareAthon which provides individuals, organizations, and communities with an opportunity to prepare for specific hazards through drills, discussions and exercises. The event will take place in Neptune Township from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the parking lot of the Headliner, 1401 Route 35.