The Planning and Project Management Bureau facilitates the coordination of planning, preparedness and homeland security exercise efforts for New Jersey while ensuring that all preparedness planning within the State is integrated locally and regionally. These plans address the full spectrum of hazards and emergencies in order to protect the citizens and critical infrastructure of New Jersey. The State's Homeland Security Exercise team is an extension of the Bureau and is comprised of a team of highly-qualified, multi-disciplinary exercise practitioners.
The Bureau is tasked with performing in-depth gap analyses, risk assessments, studies, and exercises to identify preparedness opportunities for innovative planning within the State. The primary objective is to build a more resilient New Jersey by restoring and revitalizing the health, social, economic, natural and environmental fabric of the State.
In addition, the Bureau collaborates with partners from both public and private organizations to ensure that all citizens of New Jersey are considered in the planning process. The Bureau also works with regional partners to enhance catastrophic preparedness and improve the regional response to disasters.
Ongoing Major Initiatives
A Commodities Management Strategy was developed to ensure an adequate supply of essential items is available to support the New Jersey SSSS Initiative. The Strategy provides a framework within which essential commodities are managed, assembled, and deployed to State-designated emergency shelter locations in anticipation of, and in response to catastrophic disasters impacting the State. This Strategy and the stockpile were called upon during the response to Post Tropical Storm Sandy. Stockpiled items provided food, water and comfort items to displaced populations and their pets during and in the days after the event. The Strategy includes management and storage of these items, logistical support and deployment of the commodities from warehouses to shelters. Again, the storm provided invaluable experience for the State to work through gaps that may exist within the Strategy. The State will continue its efforts to address these gaps in order to be prepared to supply these necessary items during a catastrophic event.
Private sector representation and involvement in emergency planning, response and recovery efforts are crucial to the State's efforts to build resiliency and guard against natural, human-made, and technological threats that could impact the State. The Private Sector Coordination Desk (PSD) was developed to be a conduit between State decision-makers, emergency managers, and the owners and operators of critical infrastructure assets and systems in New Jersey. The PSD was activated during Post Tropical Storm Sandy, and shall be activated during any future elevated alert, special event or catastrophic incident, including natural and technological disasters and threats.
The State has contracted Radiant RFID to provide a managed evacuation tracking solution that is customized to meet the State's needs. The system is designed to accurately account for people, pets, emergency transport vehicles and commodities deployed to shelter locations in preparation for and in the event of a hurricane, other natural disasters or man-made incidents. Radiant utilizes Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), GPS and other technologies to provide these services during an event. The technology was utilized in response to Post Tropical Storm Sandy, and will be utilized as necessary for future events.
The Planning and Project Management Bureau works in conjunction with the US Department of Homeland Security's Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program. In this Program, the Northern New Jersey Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) and the State of New Jersey have joined with the New York City UASI, the states of New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, and the private sector to enhance regional catastrophic preparedness.
OHSP and the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (OEM) helped develop projects utilizing the $27 million in funds awarded from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The goal is to achieve unity of purpose with all stakeholders to synchronize the sequence and scope of a regional operation for all responders during a catastrophe. The program centers on the highest risk urban areas in the four states, including the New Jersey UASI counties of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Passaic, and Union; and the Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) counties of Hunterdon, Mercer, Monmouth, Ocean, Somerset and Sussex.
For additional information on this program:
In order to provide for the health, safety and welfare of its citizens, the State of New Jersey is engaged in planning efforts to build the capacity for a network of State-Supported Shelters (SSS) in the event of a large natural or human-caused disaster. These shelters were activated and utilized in response to Post Tropical Storm Sandy, and served as a crucial element in the multi-layered structure of the New Jersey sheltering system. More than 1,800 evacuees were provided shelter in joint and SSS shelters . This event provided invaluable experience for the State to continue in its planning efforts for the SSS, and PPM will continue to be engaged in working to address gaps discovered during the response to Sandy. Through these continued efforts, the State will be further prepared to once again activate the SSS when local, county or regional sheltering facilities are approaching capacity, or have been rendered inaccessible due to the nature of the event.
This three-year effort focused on updating the Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs) of the seven UASI counties (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic and Union) and its two core cities, Newark and Jersey City. This Initiative includes analyzing and addressing gaps, while updating and modernizing the current County EOPs... It will also increase public and private sector integration, resulting in the development of interim housing, sheltering and commodities distribution plans for each locality.