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Homeland Security: What Every Atlantic County Citizen Should Know

NCJ Number
Date Published
16 pages
This report describes the measures taken by the Atlantic County Government (New Jersey) to improve the security of county residents in the event of a crisis; it also recommends steps families can take to better prepare themselves to respond appropriately and effectively in a crisis.
The report first presents essential emergency information, which includes listings of Emergency Alert System radio stations and various phone numbers useful for obtaining information and help in the event of a crisis. A profile of the Atlantic County Office of Emergency Preparedness is then presented. This agency is responsible for coordinating responses to natural disasters, technological emergencies, and severe weather events in the county; an additional focus of homeland security has been added since the events of September 2001. This is followed by a summary of the responsibilities of the county's Public Health Emergency Preparedness Task Force, which consists of representatives of major medical, public health, law enforcement, and emergency rescue agencies that have primary responsibility for responding to a critical public health emergency. The Division of Public Health is working closely with all area hospitals and local physicians to monitor for any unusual occurrence of disease in the community. A countywide Public Safety Radio System has been implemented that will allow all police, fire, emergency medical services, and other public agencies to communicate on a common system. A section of the report on personal preparedness advises the following: create an emergency communications plan; establish a meeting place; assemble a disaster supplies kit; and have a school emergency plan. Family emergency preparedness actions are outlined, and general recommendations are presented for actions during a disaster. The color coding of the Homeland Security Advisory System is explained, followed by a detailed explanation of what defines a "suspicious" person or activity. Another section of the report answers commonly asked questions about anthrax, and the report concludes with a description of the county evacuation routes. Web site addresses for additional resources are listed.