Hoping For The Best, Preparing For The Worst
Wall Township Office Of Emergency Management learns from the last emergencies to better prepare for the next
For this installment of Spotlight On Wall, we focus on a slightly different organization, the Wall Township Office of Emergency Management. We had a few questions for the office's deputy coordinator, Wall Police Sgt. Joseph Wilbert. Here's what he had to say:
Everyone has heard of the Office of Emergency Management, at least on a federal or state level. But I'm not sure if everyone really understands what it is the office does and why it’s important. Can you explain that?
The mission of Wall Township OEM is to coordinate preparedness and cooperative response activities for all types of disasters and large special events which affect our community. With emphasis on leadership and support, we will create a safer community through effective partnerships by managing the process of mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.
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Organization Name: Wall Township Office of Emergency Management (OEM)
Coordinator: Wall Township Police Chief Robert Brice
Deputy Coordinator: Wall Township Police Sergeant Joseph Wilbert
Deputy Coordinator: Bill Voelkel
Deputy Coordinator: Michael Hines
Address: PO Box 1168 / 2700 Allaire Road Wall, NJ 07719
Phone: (732) 449-4500
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We have police. We have firefighters. We have first aid personnel. And we all know exactly what they do in emergencies and what would happen if they weren't there. What would be different if the Office of Emergency Management was not there during an emergency?
One of the basic functions of police, fire and emergency medical personnel is to protect the lives and property of its citizens. This function is performed in an efficient and effective manner on a daily basis and those who provide this service to our community should be commended.
In an emergency or catastrophic event, these organizations must pool their resources and work together as a team to mitigate the effects on the community. OEM coordinates a cooperative response to emergencies. This requires planning, mitigation, response and recovery.
What are the most significant challenges, if there are any that carry from one incident to another, that the office faces in its duties?
An area that can always be improved upon is communication.
What was the primary role of the office during Hurricane Sandy?
Wall OEM continues to provide assistance and support during the recovery efforts of Hurricane Sandy. Wall Township OEM led the preparedness efforts of the community, supported the response operations, provided situation awareness and logistical support.
What was the most important thing the office learned from Hurricane Sandy and what do you plan to do to address that for future emergencies?
The most important thing Wall Township OEM learned from Hurricane Sandy was that we must implement additional communication contact paths into our emergency plans. We will improve our use of social media technologies. In addition, we will research the benefits of integrating the use of AM radio Station 1620 for public service announcements and emergency message broadcast.