The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management has asked County Offices of Emergency Management to conduct visual surveys of damages incurred in their jurisdictions as a result of Sunday’s flooding event. The purpose of the damage surveys is to determine the magnitude and severity of the event, and determine if more formal and comprehensive damage assessments are required.
“Over the weekend, we deployed State OEM Regional Representatives to the impacted areas, and they continue to work with local officials”, said Colonel Rick Fuentes, State Police Superintendent and Director of the NJ Office of Emergency Management. “Their observations, and State Emergency Operations Center disaster intelligence from impacted areas, point to the severe impact that the rain and flooding had on roads, bridges and homes – especially in southern New Jersey”. “The damage survey process provides a basis for deciding the avenues that we can pursue to assist the communities and people who were affected.”
During the damage assessment process, impacted facilities are located, identified and recorded. Officials will survey roads, bridges, public buildings, emergency facilities, utility plants, public property and critical infrastructure. They will also estimate the total number of damaged residential properties and indicate any other community impacts. The damage survey provides the initial extent and boundaries of the affected areas, and helps determine where the most critical needs are.
The NJOEM advises all residents and businesses that have experienced flood damage to their property to contact their insurance company and open a claim for damages. All municipal and county officials should continue to work with their respective offices of emergency management to compile the damage surveys. Those driving in the impacted areas should adhere to detours and alternative routes established by local public safety officials and avoiding driving through standing or ponded water. TLS.