STATE—The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness and the Regional Operations Intelligence Center introduced NJ Alert, the state’s new mass text and email emergency notification system, this week.
NJ Alert is a free, voluntary and confidential emergency alerting system that allows state emergency management officials to send email or text messages to cell phones, and other email enabled devices during an emergency event. The public can sign up for NJ Alert by logging on to: www.njalert.gov or by visiting the NJOEM website at www.ready.nj.gov and clicking on the NJ Alert icon.
“During an emergency, timely dissemination of accurate information is the cornerstone of public safety,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police and director of the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management.
“NJ Alert enables us to deliver emergency messages to the public through the convenience of their handheld devices or PCs in addition to our traditional emergency notification systems such as the Emergency Alert System and Amber Alert.”
“NJ Alert will help direct public action in the event of a large scale emergency whether we are dealing with a hurricane or act of terrorism. Our goal is to utilize latest technology to protect lives and property,” added Fuentes.
Additionally, NJ Alert can receive homeland security and crime related tips and leads via the www.njalert.gov site or via text messaging.
“Ensuring our residents have accurate and real-time information before, during and after any type of emergency is a fundamental responsibility – one that we don’t take lightly,” said New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness Director Richard L. Cañas. “I encourage all residents to sign up for the NJ Alert system; because a well-informed and well-prepared citizenry is critical to the success of our state’s emergency management efforts.”
“The capacity of the NJ Alert system allows the state’s ‘all crimes – all hazards’ fusion center, the Regional Operations Intelligence Center, to communicate instantly to our private sector and critical infrastructure partners in order to provide timely situational awareness messages. This will further enhance our goal of communicating with law enforcement and homeland security organizations, other government agencies, and the private sector,” added Richard Kelly, director of the New Jersey Regional Operations and Intelligence Center.
Another unique feature of NJ Alert is the opportunity for members to participate in the Human Emergency Grid, a collaborative effort in which the general public can volunteer their professional expertise to assist responders, if needed, in the event of an emergency. The service can also be used as a social networking tool. For example many groups have already been created to promote a collaborative environment between the government, private sectors and general public.
“Our service is not limited to public security information, but was uniquely designed as a group communication system for anyone – government, schools, corporations and even personal users can utilize the service for disaster recovery, family preparedness or any notification needs”, said NJ Alert creator Robert Statica, PhD, founder of United Alert, LLC, a group of volunteer homeland security, information security and development professionals dedicated to improving preparedness and emergency communication.
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