Hammonton, NJ – March 2016 Eileen Unger, President and founder of Emergency Preparedness Partnerships (EPP), was a presenter at the Coastal Resiliency Symposium held on March 29, 2016. The Symposium, co-organized by the Monmouth-Ocean Development Council (MODC) and Mott MacDonald, and hosted by New Jersey Natural Gas, was attended by dozens of stakeholders including representatives from FEMA, coastal business owners, property management companies, utility companies, environmental agencies, county and municipal engineers, and emergency management coordinators.
The Coastal Resiliency Symposium was entitled “Strengthening the Jersey Shore,” and the overall theme focused on the need for an effective coastal resiliency plan – specifically, how stakeholders can work together to better understand the concept of coastal resiliency and learn about the efforts that are currently taking place along the Jersey Shore. The need for an effective coastal resiliency plan has grown exponentially in recent years thanks to the devastation caused by past storms such as Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy, and more recently Winter Storm Jonas.
Eileen’s presentation was entitled “Community Economic Disruptions, Critical Infrastructure Pillars –Planning, Exercising and Training.” The presentation focused on how to maximize emergency preparedness within critical infrastructure sectors by planning, practicing and reinforcing policies and procedures through structured, repetitive and formalized emergency preparedness programs. The prompt restoration of critical services is one of the most critical factors in helping shore area towns recover economically.
This subject matter is well within Eileen’s wheelhouse, as EPP specializes in optimizing emergency response plans, and developing and conducting exercises and drills to ensure that the information contained within these plans is properly absorbed, retained and reinforced. EPP helps companies utilize effective planning and training to maximize preparedness and help ensure that emergencies do not become outright disasters.
The Symposium also featured several other great presentations, including an overview of the impact of the Paris Climate Summit on coastal New Jersey by Kelvin Reay of Mott MacDonald, an assessment of New Jersey’s vulnerability to a rise in sea level by David Kunter of New Jersey Future, a review of the impact of Hurricane Sandy on the ecology of the Raritan bay by Lin Zhao of New Jersey Institute of Technology, and an overview of community response best practices by Dr. Michael Schwebel of Monmouth University. The Symposium wrapped up with an informative and engaging panel discussion on coastal resiliency entitled “How Does Winter Storm Jonas Serve as a Reminder to Increase Coastal Resiliency?” – panelists included representatives from Mott MacDonald, Stevens Institute of Technology, and the Ocean County Planning Department.
The Coastal Resiliency Symposium was held from 8 am to 11:15 am at the corporate headquarters of New Jersey Natural Gas, located on 1415 Wycoff Road in Wall, NJ.