Since Hurricane Irene hit Maplewood a year ago, knocking out power and water and causing massive flooding and property damage, the township has put in place measures that will better prepare residents for the next natural disaster or emergency.
Mayor Vic DeLuca recently shared with Maplewood Patch the following list of steps the township has taken or is in the process of working on:
1) Install generator at the DeHart Center so that it is a reliable shelter in all emergencies
2) Set up a public information center during the emergency so that people can call or stop by for updates and to have questions addressed
3) Purchase of a mobile, solar powered electronic sign to broadcast emergency information at key spots throughout town
4) Utilize different color emergency tapes and additional reflective barricades depending on the severity of the problem
5) Utilize live broadcasts on cable TV channels 35 (Comcast) and 22 (FIOS) prior to and throughout the emergency - let people know about shelter plans; where to call and what to call for; anticipated parking restrictions; location of charging stations, etc.
6) Continue to use the Reverse 911 (CodeRed) system throughout the emergency
7) Continue to use public Internet outlets like Maplewood Online and Patch to share information with the public
8) Create a list of residents who are shut-ins and have Certified Emergency Response Team volunteers check up on them
9) Establish better lines of communications with utilities such as PSE&G and New Jersey North American Water.