Woodbridge Creates Emergency Evacuation Registry For Residents With Special Needs

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WOODBRIDGE – Mayor John E. McCormac and the Woodbridge Township Office of Emergency Management announced last week that every Woodbridge Township household will be receiving a “Safe & Secure” Registry for Disasters form and urged all residents with a “special need” to fill out and return the self-addressed form to the Woodbridge Township Office of Emergency Management.

“If you have a ‘special need’ and require assistance when it comes time to evacuate your home or business during an emergency, then you need to fill out the form and send it to the Woodbridge Township Office of Emergency Management,” said McCormac. “We are urging township residents who may have difficulty during an evacuation because of physical or other limitations, or lack of transportation, to sign up for the ‘special needs’ registry… that way, we’ll know who to help in advance of an emergency situation when time is of the essence.”

Joining McCormac at the Fords Fire Company #1 to make the announcement were Dennis Henry, Acting Director, Woodbridge Township Office of Emergency Management, Phil DiNicola, Deputy Chief, Woodbridge Police Department, representatives of Woodbridge Township Emergency Response, First Aid Squads and Fire Departments, and Mark Lewis, a Woodbridge Township “special needs” resident.

According to the Woodbridge Township Office of Emergency Management, residents who are non-ambulatory or wheelchair bound… connected to a respirator or dialysis machine… bedridden or critically ill… suffering from Alzheimer’s or a similar condition… diagnosed with impaired eyesight or loss of hearing… or have limited mobility have a ‘special need’ and should register with the Woodbridge Township Office of Emergency Management – all information will remain confidential and will be used only in time of emergency evacuation.

Charles Kenny, First Ward councilman and captain, Woodbridge Fire Department, noted that establishing the “special needs” registry in advance of an emergency or disaster situation will prepare first responders and will allow them to make the best use of limited time and resources to provide help to those with limited options for evacuation during an emergency.

Woodbridge Township emergency services and first responders include the Woodbridge Township Office of Emergency Management Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), the Woodbridge First Aid Squad, Port Reading First Aid Squad, Avenel First Aid Squad, Saint Johns First Aid Squad, Colonia First Aid Squad, and the nine Woodbridge Township fire departments – Woodbridge Fire Department, Port Reading Fire Company #1, Keasbey Fire Department, Avenel Fire Department, Fords Fire Company #1, Hopelawn Engine Company #1, Iselin Fire Company #1, Iselin Chemical Hook & Ladder Company, and the Colonia Fire Department.

Woodbridge Township residents with “special needs” (or caregivers on their behalf) are encouraged to fill-out and return the self-addressed ‘special need’ form received in the mail… log-on to the Woodbridge Township Web Page at: www.twp.woodbridge.nj.us to obtain a form… or call the Woodbridge Township Office of Emergency Management at 732-634-5401 for additional information and instruction on the “special needs” registry program. The Woodbridge Township ‘special needs’ registry was established in 2004. There are currently more than 370 Woodbridge Township residents registered.

“If you or a member of your household have a ‘special need’ that makes it difficult for you to successfully complete an evacuation of your home or place of business during an emergency, please fill out the ‘special need’ form and send it back to us… it’s free and will only take a few minutes… and it could save your life… With the right preparation today… an emergency doesn’t have to be a disaster,” said McCormac.

Woodbridge resident Mark Lewis explains the importance of the “Safe & Secure ~ Special Needs” registry to Woodbridge Mayor John E. McCormac. The “Safe & Secure ~ Special Needs” registry was unveiled at the Fords Fire Department. Woodbridge Township residents (or caregivers on their behalf) are encouraged to fill-out and return the self-addressed ‘special need’ form received in the mail.


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