CODEY ANNOUNCES COORDINATED STATEWIDE RELIEF EFFORTS FOR REGION
DEVASTATED BY HURRICANE KATRINA
New Jersey Residents Encouraged to Donate Bottled Water
(TRENTON) - Acting Governor Richard J. Codey today announced that New Jersey is coordinating a number of efforts to aid the Gulf Coast states devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Among the relief efforts is the opening of the state's military armories as drop-off points for residents looking to donate much-needed water to the affected region.
"One of the biggest obstacles these states are facing right now is the lack of potable water," said Codey. "Without safe water, the already devastated areas face a public health threat in the form of disease outbreaks. I encourage every resident to donate whatever they can in the form of bottled water to help those in desperate need."
The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMAVA) is working with the 108th Air Refueling Wing at McGuire Air Force Base and the 250th Forward Support Battalion at Sea Girt to collect, package and deliver bottled water. Those citizens wishing to assist in this effort can bring packaged bottled water in cases to the armory locations listed below between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. now through Monday, September 5th. Logistical restraints require that the bottled water be no smaller than case size.
Additionally, under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), the Chief of the National Guard Bureau has authorized the National Guards in all 50 states and four territories to provide essential personnel and critical equipment support to the affected states. Both New Jersey's Army and Air National Guard have answered that call and are mobilized and ready to provide assistance to forthcoming requests.
The New Jersey State Police Office of Emergency Management is standing by to send resources, including Task Force One, to the affected states in a moment's notice, once those states request help with the ongoing recovery effort. Task Force One is a 210-member emergency response team fully equipped with multiple search, rescue and response capabilities. The team is ready to mobilize boats and technical equipment needed for water and land-based rescues; high-powered generators; and state-of-the-art hazardous materials equipment, if needed. OEM is also prepared to send a fully equipped Medevac helicopter.
Codey has also ordered the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to grant free passage on the state's toll roads to all rescue, relief, and humanitarian service convoys destined for the hurricane-ravaged regions. Organizations planning to travel through New Jersey enroute to the disaster areas are asked to contact William Darragh, assistant director of tolls for the New Jersey Turnpike at 732-247-0900 ext. 5654, to coordinate the free passage.
In response to EMAC's request for medical professionals, the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is surveying the availability of qualified individuals, especially physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists, working in state agencies including Rutgers University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). Commissioner Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D., has also asked DHSS technical specialists to consider volunteering for the long-term recovery effort, especially environmental health specialists, industrial hygienists, laboratorians, vital records administration and communications specialists.
"This is a good time for New Jersey residents to take stock of their own situation and make sure they are prepared with their own emergency plans should we ever face a similar situation," added Codey.
For information on how to prepare your family for an emergency,
consult the state's public health guide to emergency planning
available on DHSS' website at www.state.nj.us/health .
Codey also reminds residents that blood supplies have been at a critical low throughout the country all summer and are particularly in need right now in light of the current situation.
"New Jersey was very fortunate in that we were spared the devastation that our Gulf Coast neighbors have felt. But, we cannot let this distance allow us to ignore the call to help," added Codey. "Our sister states have a long road to recovery and we are prepared to stand by them and offer whatever assistance we can. One of the best ways a person can help right now is through the simple task of donating blood. A few minutes of your time can be a life-saving effort for someone in dire need."
Anyone looking to help can give blood, donate money or volunteer
through the American Red Cross. Donations can be made via
phone at 800-HELP-NOW, through the web at www.redcross.org
or by mail to: American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington
D.C., 20013. For volunteer and blood donor opportunities,
visit their web address as well.
The Department of Human Services' Division of Mental Health Services also provides a toll-free crisis counseling help line for any residents who may be experiencing emotional distress directly or indirectly related to Hurricane Katrina. The hotline - 877-294-HELP - is available 24/7 to assist residents and help them cope during trying times.
ARMORY DROPOFF LOCATIONS
FOR BOTTLED WATER:
1799 Teaneck Road
Teaneck, NJ 07666-0687
1060 Hamilton Street
Somerset, NJ 08873
658 North Evergreen Avenue
Woodbury, NJ 08096-1399
1315 Pleasant Valley Way
West Orange, NJ 07052-1419
151 Eggerts Crossing Road
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
2560 South Delsea Drive
Vineland, NJ 08360-7093
479 West Clinton Street
Dover, NJ 07801-1799
NJ National Guard Training Center
Sea Girt, NJ 08750-0251
1008 Absecon Blvd.
Atlantic City, NJ 08401-1999
550 RT 57
Port Murray, NJ 07865
600 Garden State Parkway
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210-1699
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