Plans are in the works to form a coalition in Ocean County that would prepare for and respond to emergencies. A COAD, Community Organizations Active in Disaster, would chose a designated location to provide residents with resources and services.

Flickr User Ashpags
Flickr User Ashpags

Sue Marticek, Executive Director of the Ocean County Long Term Recovery Group, said the need for a COAD and a designated location was a lesson that nonprofits learned from Sandy.

"So, that the moment something happens that we all know that there's a central place that we can gather for resources and also that the community knows they come to take part of those resources," said Marticek.

The idea of a COAD is to bring together all different facets of the community, including non-profits, for-profits and government agencies, according to Marticek.

"Sandy has provided us an opportunity to build all those relationships in recovery without having an established COAD. So now, we're just going to implement standing up a COAD, so that we can take advantage of all the great work that has been done in recovery and now just moved those partnerships and relationships into preparing our County," Marticek said.

She added the COAD would do things that coincide with what the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management.

"We want to be on the same page with them so that we're working in sync and not doing anything that could possibly hinder an emergency response. So, we're working hand-in-hand with the County OEM, we have great support from the County Human Services and Health Department, and I think that we can really do some creative things in Ocean County," said Marticek.

Marticek pointed out that during the Joaquin scare last fall, The People's Pantry in Toms River and St. Francis in Long Beach were willing to set up as resource centers.

"Now' the time when we can roll up our sleeves while we're not in an emergency atmosphere and kind of really plan those things out," Marticek said.

The kick-off meeting is being held on January 21, 2016, 10 a.m. to Noon, St. Andrews United Methodist Church, 1528 Church Road, Toms River.

Organizations and business interested in learning about a COAD are invited to attend.

RSVP at or by calling 732-569-3484.

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