Thursday, August 25, 2011

Emergency Management Office - Asbury Park

When the recent heavy rains raised levels in Deal Lake, residents tried to call the Emergency Management Office telephone number posted on the City website: , but it just registered a constant busy signal. The desk sergeant at the police station said the number doesn't work.
Then when the earthquake hit this week, it took the city 2 1/2 hours to issue an automated call to the apprehensive residents. It's that we have this tool, but we need more information, such as which route to take if we need to evacuate or where the nearest shelters will be. So the message might say if this had been a disaster this is what you would have been told. The public needs to be comfortable and familiar with alternative arrangements. It's not enough for authorities alone to know.
Now Hurricane Irene is on the way...
Since 2006, Asbury Radio has been asking the City to tighten up its emergency management services: especially its evacuation plan. We posted the files of the City's plan in progress on Asbury Radio - it is to your left with a triangular caution sign as the symbol.
With three lakes and an ocean bordering or cutting through this 1.4 Sq mile town, we are more a peninsula than anything else. If we suddenly had to evacuate, things could turn serious in minutes if drivers load onto the same arteries. We saw how quickly we became locked into our homes when the blizzard hit last winter. We remarked at the time that had it been water instead of snow, we would've drowned. Coordination is key in such instances and the City is the best authority to perform this function. City Manager Terry Reidy is the City's Emergency Management Officer, with Fire Chief Kevin Keddy aiding.  Are we ready?
AR will be happy to post your replies and updates here.  

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