With the stresses and joys of the holiday season, it’s easy to forget the horrors that Hurricane Sandy and the subsequent snowstorm brought to Manalapan Township. The Manalapan Township Committee wants to make sure, however, that they are doing everything possible for the community in the event of another natural disaster.
Last week, the Township Committee authorized the creation of a new teenage run volunteer group and a new construct of subgroups within the Township’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM). Both ideas were introduced by Township Committee member Jordan Maskowitz who wants the town to be even more prepared when the next big storm hits our area.
The purpose of creating new subgroups within the Office of Emergency Management is so that there is better communication throughout the town. These subgroups will be called “Community Emergency Management Teams” and the goal will be to have one team within each of Manalapan’s neighborhoods.
Consisting of residents from each community, each team will select a liaison who will be included in all future OEM meetings that take place before, during, and after any storm, as well as all of the quarterly meetings.
“This will ensure that the needs, which vary from neighborhood to neighborhood, are brought to the attention of our OEM officials and addressed,” Maskowitz said.
Additionally, a communication chain will be established so that everyone is kept informed during real-time briefings.
Office of Emergency Management Director Rick Hogan, Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden, and Freeholder Thomas Arnone all support this initiative and have pledged their full support for resources.
“We are all in agreement that we would like to see this evolve into community meetings and informational sessions for our residents for this will only be successful as the volunteers we get from each community,” Maskowitz said.
The incredible number of young Manalapan residents who volunteered in the wake of the storm also inspired Maskowitz to form a group of teenage volunteers.
The Manalapan Township Committee authorized the creation of the Teenage Leadership Committee (TLC), a group which will consist of teenage volunteers and future community leaders.
This group has been added to the list of Manalapan Township Volunteer groups and a resolution to appoint new members will take place at the Township Committee Reorganization meeting, which is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 2 at 7 p.m. at the Manalapan Township Municipal Building.