Asked Questions Regarding a
in New Jersey
What is a State of Emergency?
Governor declares a State of Emergency when he/she
believes a disaster has
occurred or may be imminent that is severe enough
to require State aid to supplement local resources
in preventing or alleviating damages, loss, hardship
or suffering. This declaration authorizes the
Governor to speed State agency assistance to communities
in need. It enables him to make resources immediately
available to rescue, evacuate, shelter, provide
essential commodities (i.e., heating fuel, food,
etc.) and quell disturbances in affected localities.
It may also position the State to seek federal
assistance when the scope of the event exceeds
the State's resources.
Does a State of Emergency declaration direct citizens
to take any particular action?
The declaration empowers the New Jersey Office
of Emergency Management (NJOEM) to act on behalf
of the Governor to employ the resources and assets
of State, local and private agencies to provide
immediate assistance to localities. Typically,
the New Jersey State Police, National Guard, and
departments of Environmental Protection, Transportation
and Health are called upon rather quickly to respond
to the event, and other departments are added
the Governor issues the declaration, NJOEM puts
the State Emergency Operations Plan into effect.
It may also activate the State Emergency Operations
Center to full 24-hour staffing to coordinate
and direct State response and recovery operations.
In addition, NJOEM may call on a number of private
agencies such as the American Red Cross, The Salvation
Army, and the Voluntary Organizations Active in
Disaster (VOAD) network to fulfill critical missions.
The Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES)
often provides backup emergency communications
and the Civil Air Patrol may assist in search
and rescue missions.
Does a State of Emergency mean you aren't allowed
to go anywhere or do anything until it's lifted?
The Governor's declaration does not normally restrict
citizen movements or activities. The State may
limit access to affected areas due to concerns
for public safety but will notify the public of
these restrictions. If it is necessary to impose
vehicular or personal movement restrictions, the
New Jersey Office of Emergency Management will
alert the public using all available means, including,
but not limited to: the Emergency Alert System,
urgent press releases, DOT highway signs, law
enforcement teletypes, etc. Every effort will
be made by NJOEM to facilitate safe passage for
utility, health care and emergency services workers
whose presence is necessary for public safety
or in response to the Emergency.
How long does a State of Emergency remain in effect?
Governor will rescind the State of Emergency when
it is no longer needed to provide necessary support
to localities or until the threat of impending
danger from the event has passed.
Does a declaration of emergency bar the sale or
provision of goods and services?
Governor's declaration does not address restrictions
on the sale or provision of goods or services.
However, your locality may enact restrictions
under their local emergency declaration. We recommend
that you contact your local government for any
Is it an employer's responsibility to pay employees
who cannot get to work during a State of Emergency?
The Governor's declaration does not mandate administrative
policies for individual businesses or address
workplace situations in which employees are unable
to travel. Businesses must address hours of operation
and compensation on an individual basis. Once
a federal disaster is declared, employees unable
to work may be eligible for unemployment assistance.
Are all State Offices closed during a State of
Governor's declaration does not automatically
close State Offices. Should it be necessary due
to conditions experienced during the Emergency
to scale back or close State Offices, the Governor
will make an announcement to his/her Cabinet and
through the media, similar to what is done during
a snow storm.
shall mean any unusual
incident resulting from natural or unnatural causes
which endangers the health, safety or resources
of the residents of one or more municipalities
of the State, and which is or may become too large
in scope or unusual in type to be handled in its
entirety by regular municipal operating services.