When the Superstorm came ashore almost 11 months ago, it not only destroyed property - it left many of us on edge, stressed out and worried about the future.  One local organization is here to help.

Flyer promoting Ocean County disaster preparedness event
Flyer promoting Ocean County disaster preparedness event (Ocean County Office of the Mental Health Association in NJ)

The Ocean County Office of the Mental Health Association in New Jersey (MHANJ) is offering a free Disaster Preparedness and Document Scanning event on Saturday and Sunday, September 28 and 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 226 Route 37 West, Unit 14 in Toms River.

This event is a collaborative community  effort that includes the Ocean County Health Department, the Ocean County Consumer Fraud Division, Toms River Office of Emergency Management, Visiting Nurse  Association and many other organizations that will participate by providing information and answering questions.

New Jersey Hope and Healing staff will be  available to provide emotional support. The first 100 people to pre-register will receive a free emergency kit.

In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy our community has learned many lessons. The purpose of this event is to provide Ocean County residents with information  about how to prepare for potential future emergencies. To promote safety, health, and preparedness document scanning will be available as well as  presentations by healthcare providers and government agencies, and various demonstrations by a variety of organizations relating to emergency preparedness  offered in a fun, family friendly way.

"One of our goals is to help assure that people are prepared with documentation that they may need in an emergency. One survivor we met was in tears as she  explained that to submit applications for assistance she needed copies of her social security card, birth certificate, marriage license, deed to her house  and other important documents. In the rush of the evacuation she did not have time to gather all of these items before leaving her home. Document scanning is  one way to help prepare for unexpected emergencies such as this," said Michele Green Ferrante, Director MHANJ's Ocean County Services.

The Mental Health Association in New Jersey strives for good mental health for children and adults through advocacy, education, training, and services.

New Jersey Hope and Healing is sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Human Services' Disasters and Terrorism Branch, through a FEMA grant, and in  partnership with Barnabas Health Institute for Prevention, Family Service Association, and the Mental Health Association in New Jersey.

To pre-register or for more information contact Maria Robinson, at 732-244-0940 or via email at mrobinson@mhanj.org

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