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NJ Office of Emergency Management
Colonel Rick Fuentes Major John Hunt
Superintendent, New Jersey State Police
State Director of Emergency Management
Deputy State Director of Emergency Management

Neal Buccino (609) 882-2000 ext. 2738 October 12, 2005


Reservists will Conduct Damage Assessments, Communicate with
Individuals Affected by Major Disasters

(TRENTON) After a hurricane, flood or other disaster passes, individuals return to their homes and businesses. It is time to assess the damage to property, apply for federal or state help where eligible, and begin the process of recovery.

To help families and businesses during recovery, the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, directed by State Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes, is creating a cadre of specialists called the New Jersey Disaster Reservist Program (NJ DRP).

The Reservists will act as the State of New Jersey's representative to property owners affected by a major disaster. They will conduct damage assessments; help families and business owners negotiate the process of applying for and receiving federal or state assistance; and serve in the field during response and recovery operations.

Colonel Fuentes announced today that the new program needs volunteers.

"We are looking for individuals who have administrative and communication skills, and those with experience in engineering, finance or emergency management," Fuentes said. "Reservists will leap into action with the federal declaration of an emergency, and will serve through the recovery process."

"These Reservists will take complicated, technical information and make it accessible to citizens in need," Fuentes continued. "They will keep an ongoing database of disaster-related activities. And they will receive regular training to keep these skills sharp. This will be a very rewarding service for the right kind of person. Any New Jerseyan who is interested should apply."

Disaster Reservists will be assigned to the North, Central or South regions of New Jersey. During a declared emergency Fuentes, as Director of the State Office of Emergency Management, will deploy Reservists to work with the Governor's Authorized Representative and the State Coordinating Officer.

Anyone interested in applying should call Sgt. First Class William McDonnell, head of the State Office of Emergency Management's Public Assistance Unit, at 609-882-2000, ex. 2351. Information for applicants will soon be available at the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management's website, www.state.nj.us/njoem.


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