Ocean County Updating Its Response Plans For Natural Disasters

Ocean County is seeking public input as it begins updating its Ocean County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan.

“The Ocean County Office of Emergency Management, under the direction of the Ocean County Office of the Sheriff, is working with Michael Baker International Inc. to update the plan – which is required every five years by state and federal agencies,” said Deputy Director of the Ocean County Board of Commissioners Gary Quinn, liaison to the Sheriff’s Office. “Public input for this update is imperative. We gain a lot of important insight from our residents and representatives of public agencies so that the plan reflects Ocean County and the hazards we experience.”

The first one-hour public workshop is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23. It’s a hybrid workshop. People can attend in-person at the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management, at the Ocean County Airport, Route 530, here.

To access the workshop virtually, the public can visit the Ocean County website at www.co.ocean.nj.us and click on the All Hazard Mitigation Plan tab on the home page and follow the instructions to register.

According to Ocean County Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy, hazard mitigation planning identifies risks and vulnerabilities associated with natural disasters and develops long-term strategies for protecting people and property from future hazard events.

“Ocean County experiences a host of natural hazards and disasters,” Mastronardy said. “From wild fires to flooding to coastal storms, it’s important this plan reflects the most accurate information available.”

A Hazard Mitigation Plan is required by state and federal agencies to be updated every five-years in order for communities in Ocean County to be eligible for certain types of state and federal disaster relief funds after a disaster occurs.

Ocean County, along with its consultant Michael Baker International, Inc., will host a series of public workshops during the plan update.

“The purpose of these workshops is to provide an update on the project and to gather input from residents,” Quinn said. “Public input will help the project team better understand risks, vulnerabilities, and impacts of natural hazards to the community and identify potential mitigation actions to reduce that risk.”

Director of the Ocean County Board of Commissioner Barbara Jo Crea urged Ocean County citizens to participate in the workshops.

“Whether you attend in person or join the discussion virtually, it’s important we hear from you,” she said. “There is also an opportunity to participate by accessing the information on the County website.”

For questions about the plan or the public workshop please contact Brittany Dremluk, Consultant Project Manager at Michael Baker International, Inc. by emailing  brittany.dremluk@mbakerintl.com or calling 609-807-9556, or Allen J. Mantz, Jr., Radiological Officer, Acting Domestic Preparedness Planner, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office at amantz@co.ocean.nj.us or calling 732-341-3451, Ext. 6120.

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