FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Freeholder Mildred S. Scott
Chair, Law and Public Safety Committee
County, Local Emergency Preparedness Plans
To Be Reviewed, Enhanced
APRIL 3, 2009 -- The Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders last night voted to review and update its plans for continuing government operations should a catastrophic event occur in the County.
The Freeholder Board voted to use 2008 Federal Homeland Security funds to retain James Lee Witt Associates to evaluate and update the County’s Continuity of Operations / Continuation of Government Plans (COOP / COG) to ensure that essential functions continue throughout a range of emergencies and events.
The contract approved by the Freeholders also authorizes funds to perform the same service for all 25 municipalities in the County, the first County in the State to do so.
“When it comes to emergency preparedness, we have to be proactive, we have to take steps to protect our residents and ensure that vital services are available before, during and after any emergency situation,” said Freeholder Mildred S. Scott, chair of the County’s Law and Public Safety Committee. “Planning is key to any response initiative.”
As a result of the Continuation of Operations aspects of the planning process, Middlesex County and each participating municipality will be able to certify it has the ability to carry out its essential functions even after an emergency has impacted their work.
“Over the past few years, Middlesex County has worked long and hard to develop plans and policies to ensure the safety of our residents in all types of emergencies,” said Freeholder Director Stephen J. Dalina. “By reviewing our COOP / COG plan and helping our local partners to do the same, we are in a better position to make sure our residents receive the services they need and that government can continue no matter what emergency happens.”
The Middlesex County Office of Emergency Management will lead this effort along with key representatives from County Administration, as well as municipal administrations and Offices of Emergency Management.
Freeholder Scott and Deputy Freeholder Director Christopher D. Rafano, chair of the County’s Administration and Finance Committee, oversee the County’s COOP / COG committee. Committee members are:
County OEM Coordinator Rory Zach, Committee Chairman
County Administrator John Pulomena
Clerk of the Board Margaret Pemberton
Personnel Director Dennis Cerami
Information Technology Director Khalid Anjum