September marks National Preparedness Month and the Township of Lyndhurst and its Office of Emergency Management wants residents to know it’s taking its role to participate very seriously.
Police Sgt. Paul Haggerty is the deputy coordinator of the Lyndhurst OEM. He says Mayor Robert Giangeruso, the Public Safety commissioner, has worked with the police, fire and EMS agencies within the township to create the “ReadyLyndhurst” campaign as part of a nationwide theme this year, the “Prepared Not Scared” program.
“Our hope is to build a resilient community within the township through preparedness and education initiatives,” Haggerty said. “Our township has come a long way, and we strive to always remain proactive.”
Some of the most current accomplishments, Haggerty says, over the last year, include the following:
- Lyndhurst’s OEM executed a $68,470 Hurricane Sandy Hazard Mitigation generator grant project where a permanent generator was installed at the township’s senior center. This location also serves as a warming and cooling center in times of power loss as well as a shelter during disasters. Prior to this, a loss of power in the vicinity of this location would render it useless. Parks & Public Property Commissioner Thomas DiMaggio was instrumental in assisting with the project, Haggerty says.
- OEM launched its free mobile app (it was featured in The Observer immediately following its launch) for smartphone users. The app has the ability to simulcast notifications over the various township emergency services’ Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Further, the app contains a preparedness and planning element.
- OEM offered free bleeding-control classes to the community as well as instructing school district staff and the student body about stopping the bleed with tourniquets and wound-packing.
“Unfortunately, in the climate of mass killing incidents in America, we want to arm our community with the knowledge of these life saving techniques in case they are faced with a scenario. The training could even be applied during an industrial or severe vehicle crash,” Haggerty, a former fire chief and Deputy Fire Commissioner with the township’s all volunteer fire department and who has had several first-hand experiences with tourniquets saving lives, said. “Most recently, just over a week ago on Sept. 7, the LFD responded to assist the New Jersey State Police on the New Jersey Turnpike near Exit 16W.”
Haggerty said that the state troopers’ quick application of tourniquets on an individual involved in a motorcycle crash saved his life.
- OEM digitally produced an updated Preparedness Guidebook.
- OEM maintains a C.E.R.T. Team and plans to host a training class in late fall to early winter as well as launching a Teen C.E.R.T. program at Lyndhurst High School.
- It’s currently working on a complete communications project within the township which will include an alert system within schools to notify them immediately of a threat or severe weather information.
With all of this, Haggerty says nothing is more important than being prepared for a potential disaster — and having the township’s OEM app downloaded on your iPhone, Android phone or tablet.
“A key component of emergency preparedness is to stay informed and be aware of what is going on around you,” he said. “That includes monitoring weather conditions, staying current on local news, having situational awareness, and making sure you receive timely information from local government officials.
“We encourage you to download our mobile app free of charge, register your information with the county’s reverse 9-1-1 telephone alerting system, Swift 911, by visiting the Bergen County Office of Emergency Management website, www.bcoem.org.
“This database is confidential and will not be shared. If you haven’t done so, we also urge that you sign up for Nixle text and email alerts that will keep you in constant contact with surrounding jurisdictions leading up to and after an incident. The township now uses Nixle as a secondary means of notification for email only. This will enhance your preparedness and expedite the recovery process after.
“You can register by texting ‘07071’ to 888-777 or by visiting www.nixle.com. Additionally, you can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @Lyndhurst NJOEM.
“It is also strongly suggested that you obtain a battery-powered or crank radio from a local retail store to stay informed on the township’s emergency advisory radio station, 1700 AM. As we learned most recently during Superstorm Sandy, all of the above are excellent sources of receiving information until cellular and Internet service becomes unavailable.”
Download the ReadyLYNDHURST Emergency Preparedness Guidebook at www.lyndhurstnj.org/web_content/pdf/flyers/Ready-Lyndhurst-2019.pdf.
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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.