Red Cross, FEMA, Verizon Partner With Jersey City Mayor to Stress the
Importance of Disaster Preparedness, Volunteerism
JERSEY CITY, N.J., Sept. 27, 2013
JERSEY CITY, N.J., Sept. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --With the memories of
Superstorm Sandy still raw for many New Jerseyans, representatives from the
American Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Verizon
gathered on Friday (Sept. 27) with Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop to stress
the importance of disaster preparedness, emergency communications and
volunteerism. The officials also detailed the tools available to help people
prepare for emergencies or disasters.
The meeting, held at the Jersey City Office of Emergency Management and
Homeland Security command center on Summit Avenue, also highlighted the fact
that September is National Preparedness Month.
"We saw firsthand the vital role that volunteers played in assisting neighbors
in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy," said Fulop. "Jersey City is fortunate to
have a civic-oriented community with residents who stepped up and helped
others, even though their own homes and families were impacted. Our CERT team
is training even more volunteers in emergency preparedness so we will have
trained volunteers in place for any future events."
Mathieu Nelessen, regional CEO, American Red Cross North Jersey region,
discussed the Red Cross' continuing Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts in the
state and highlighted the massive Red Cross response in New Jersey, which
included the work of more than 4,000 Red Cross volunteers during the months
following the storm last October. The organization issued a call for people to
volunteer with the Red Cross and get involved in their communities.
"National Preparedness Month is a great time to sign up and volunteer," said
Nelessen. "Register now and receive the training necessary to step forward
immediately to assist your community during times of disaster."
The Red Cross has free mobile appsthat provide information on what to do
before, during and after emergencies, including developing an emergency plan.
Aone-touch "I'm safe" messaging feature for mobile devices allows users to
instantly broadcast reassurance -- via pre-set text, email and social media
outlets -- to family and friends that they are out of harm's way. The apps
cover hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes and first aid and can be downloaded
from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching
for American Red Cross.
Additional free tools are available at redcross.org/npm and include a Family
Disaster Plan template, available in both English and Spanish; emergency
checklists; and interactive games and activities to ease children's fears
about the unexpected.
"Having a game plan in place is essential for all households so everyone knows
what they should do when an emergency or disaster occurs," said Nelessen.
"Disasters can strike quickly and without warning, giving people only minutes
to react. Planning ahead can help keep everyone safe, and the Red Cross makes
it easy to do."
Paul Sullivan, region president for Verizon New Jersey, discussed how the
company prepares for events that could affect its wireline and wireless
networks and the services it makes available for emergency responders and
communities, and provides useful tips for customers to follow as they prepare
for emergencies or weather events.
"Preparation is key," said Sullivan. "At Verizon we do our best to ensure that
our customers stay connected during bad weather, whether is it setting up
mobile phone banks in areas experiencing phone outages or having repair crews
work round-the-clock to restore service for customers impacted by severe
weather. Wealso encourage our customers to be proactive andmake necessary
communications preparationswhen major storms are approaching."
Verizon also can deploy its Emergency Response Mobile Communications Service
Fleet, which provides critical communications services in a disaster area. The
company also has a disaster recovery fleet, which consists of a 51-foot
Verizon Mobile Command Center, two 53-foot emergency communications calling
centers and one 40-foot executive coach emergency communications center.
In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, Verizon's emergency fleet of vehicles
and self-contained emergency inflatable-air shelters assisted public-safety
and disaster-recovery organizations in places like Hazlet, Hoboken and Ortley
Beach. These mobile stations provided organizations with communications,
Internet and video capabilities in hard-hit areas.
Verizon employees, Verizon Wireless customers and the Verizon Foundation
donated more than $6 million to Sandy relief and rebuilding efforts.In
addition, more than 7,000 Verizon employees donated to the American Red Cross
and Salvation Army through the Verizon Foundation's matching gifts program.
TheJersey City Officeof Emergency Management and Homeland
Securityproactively plans for hazards, works to reduce threats and
preparesJersey Citycitizens to respond to and recover from a disaster.
The OEMis responsible for providing mitigation, preparedness, response,
recovery and coordination for large-scale emergencies and disasters, both
natural and human-caused, to the citizens of Jersey City for the purpose of
saving lives and preventing property damage.
The director of theOEM is theJersey City representative to theJersey
City/Newark Urban Area Security Initiative Executive Board,responsible for
the development, coordination, and management of Departmentof Homeland
Security (DHS funding related to terrorism, man-made or natural
disasterprevention andprotective measures.)
For more information on emergency preparedness, including helpful tips for
consumers and businesses, visit the Red Cross at www.redcross.org/prepare.
Verizon provides updates on preparations for and response to hurricanes or
other serious natural or man-made events at www.verizon.com/news,
www.verizonwireless.com/news or www.verizonenterprise.com/about/news.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to
victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches
skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports
military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit
organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American
public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit
About the American Red Cross North Jersey Region
The American Red Cross North Jersey Region provides programs and services
throughout the counties of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer,
Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren, with a
combined population of 5.7 million. The region trains and mobilizes more than
4,500 volunteers who support the delivery of services in the community. Last
year, the Red Cross North Jersey Region responded to 419 local disasters,
helping 929 families displaced by home fires; collected more than 20,000 units
of blood through blood drives and Red Cross Blood Donation Centers; helped 884
military families send emergency messages, receive financial assistance, and
get counseling and referrals; and trained 143,344 individuals with life-saving
skills in CPR, AED use, first aid and aquatics.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is
a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline
communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale
customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network,
with more than 100 million retail connections nationwide. Verizon also
provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over
America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business
solutions to customers in more than 150 countries. A Dow 30 company with
nearly $116 billion in 2012 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of
180,900. For more information, visit about.verizon.com.
VERIZON'S ONLINE NEWS CENTER: Verizon news releases, executive speeches and
biographies, media contacts and other information are available at Verizon's
online News Center at newscenter.verizon.com. The news releases are available
through an RSS feed. To subscribe, visit
Contact: Diane Concannon, Red Cross, 609-951-2116,
email@example.com; or Jennifer Morrill, City of Jersey City,
201-547-4836, jenniferM@jcnj.org; or Lee Gierczynski, Verizon, 412-215-0434,
firstname.lastname@example.org; or Esmeralda Diaz Cameron, Verizon Wireless,
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