All-volunteer Community Emergency Response Team hopes to expand group beginning in February.
- VOLUNTEERS IN THE NEWS
Tuesday, January 22
If you had the opportunity to visit the local warming centers or overnight shelters during the days that followed Hurricane Sandy, chances are you met members of the Long Valley Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT. CERT is a nationwide initiative to train individuals to be better prepared to respond to emergency situations in their neighborhoods and communities. Last September, the first Long Valley CERT members graduated from their training, and were almost immediately faced with providing help during the most severe storm in recent memory. Jim Smith, the Washington Township Operations Coordinator for Emergency Management and Bruce Clark, Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator, spent several months in once-a-week evening …
Residents looking to help during emergencies can join CERT.
Washington Township was dealt a variety of inclement weather blows in the latter half of 2011, enduring Hurricane Irene, flash floods and a foot of snow in the final days of October. During those times, roads were closed because of downed power lines and trees, and thousands of residents were without power–some for up to nine days. It was then that Washington Township realized its Office of Emergency Management (OEM) department was overmatched, and needed to take a different direction before weather-related problems happened again. Jim Smith, the Washington Township Police Department’s facility operator and OEM Deputy Coordinator, has taken the reigns and is asking for volunteers to get involved. The department is asking that residents 18 …