Monmouth County Emergency Officials unveil coastal evacuation plan
We're still in the peak of the Atlantic Hurricane season as the calendar turns to October this weekend, and Monmouth County officials unveiled a first of its kind evacuation plan called "Know Your Zone" to educate locals on the zone they live in ahead of a severe storm.
Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden explains that it allows residents to go onto their website and find out what evacuation zone they're in ahead of a storm. Zones are broken into four sections consisting of A, B, C, and D.
"If we get a storm that comes up the coast, and we say 'Hey, we're looking at a possible evacuation of Zone A', they know exactly where they are and what street address, right down to the porcelain point on our G.I.S. system."
Monmouth County Office of Emergency Management (O.E.M.) coordinator Mike Oppegaard says that if another storm approaches soon, the plan is ready to go.
"We anticipate this will be a several year campaign, for residents to understand about what zone they live in and the public outreach portion of it," said Oppegaard.
If there is an evacuation needed as a result of a pending storm, you'll then receive an alert based on the zone your in.
"Our messaging will be direct to those folks that live in that particular zone, that would be impacted by the storm," explained Oppegaard.
The county wide sheltering plan would also be enacted with this program.
With this plan Oppegaard explains, "we know the estimated number of population, the number of potential senior residents, those with special needs or access and functional needs."
However, no matter what happens, Golden urges everyone to have an emergency plan in place.
"We want them to be prepared, we want them to have a plan," said Golden. "We want them to be evacuated or be able to evacuate themselves outside of the county area, particularly those zone areas."
Here is a list the Monmouth County Sheriff's office and emergency officials want you to know about this plan:
- Evacuation zones should not be confused with flood zones.
- The evacuation zones are based on storm surge values using various hypothetical storm models based on worst case scenarios.
- The zones have been established based on threat strength direction and storm surge.
- Localized evacuation orders may be issued by Municipal Emergency Management officials during storms that are forecast to have area specific impacts, rather than county-wide impacts.
For more information on this evacuation plan, watch the video below: