The Emergency Management Act of 1989, originally known as the Civil Defense Act of 1942, makes it possible to coordinate resources, manpower, equipment and financial assistance from county, state and federal agencies in the event of a local catastrophe. The State Office of Emergency Management issues guidelines, in the form of a checklist, for development of county and municipal Emergency Operations Plans. These plans are reviewed and updated every four years.
An Emergency Operation Plan describes the organization, responsibilities, capabilities and procedures for municipal response during an emergency. An emergency is an unusual incident by natural or human causes that is too large to be handled by regular municipal services. A natural disaster includes hurricanes, flood or snow storms. An unnatural disaster could be a plane crash, a train derailment, chemical spill or fire. The Emergency Operation Plan is initiated by the Director of Emergency Management or his Deputies, who notifies the county office of Emergency Management if an emergency or disaster overwhelms local emergency capabilities (police, fire department, public health, public works and social service agencies) and county assistance is needed. Michael Oppegaard, the Monmouth County Coordinator of the Office of Emergency Management, coordinates the necessary county, state and federal resources to address the crisis.
The Township of Ocean Office of Emergency Management is staffed by 1 Part time Director, 4 part time Deputy Coordinators along with several other volunteer functional coordinators who come out and help during disasters. The Township of Ocean Office of Emergency Management is responsible for the development and maintenance of the Township’s all hazard Emergency Operations Plan. The plan is made up of 15 functional annexes that outline how the town will function during emergency or disaster conditions. The office also acts as the conduit to the Monmouth County Office of Emergency Management and New Jersey Office of Emergency Management.