New Jersey OEM provides disaster response trailers to CERTs

The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management announced on Thursday that it supplied Community Emergency Response Teams in four municipalities with disaster response utility trailers.

The trailers will enhance the emergency response capabilities in West Orange Township, Lakewood Township, Little Ferry Borough and Aberdeen Township/Matawan Borough. Each trailer is equipped with a generator, lighting equipment, basic medical supplies, tents, tools and evacuation support equipment.

The trailers are funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"New Jersey is proud to be home to one of the nation's largest CERT programs - 23,000 volunteers organized into 250 teams," Col. Rick Fuentes, the director of the New Jersey OEM, said. "The program is robust because of citizen engagement and neighbor helping neighbor, a New Jersey tradition. We will continue to support our volunteers' efforts by equipping them with resources, such as the response utility trailers.

The deployment on Thursday brings the number of CERT utility trailers allocated by the New Jersey OEM to 112.

New Jersey CERT volunteers staff emergency operations centers and evacuee shelters, direct the activities of other volunteers, help their neighbors and search for missing children. New Jersey CERT and Medical Reserve Corps volunteers worked close to 10,000 hours in response to Superstorm Sandy.

"Four communities are receiving equipment today, but it is also a time to thank and recognize all CERT volunteers who serve others selflessly during adverse conditions," Fuentes said.