Evacuation-preparations bill now law

TRENTON – A bill that seeks to improve evacuation plans in case of an emergency was signed into law today.

The legislation, S264/A3224, does several things, including identifying or creating additional shelters, ensuring evacuation plans are consistent among counties, and improving public notification procedures.

Sen. Jeff Van Drew, (D-1), Dennis Township, a bill sponsor,  said the evacuation of Cape May and Atlantic counties, as well as areas across New Jersey, during Tropical Storm Irene demonstrated the need to improve and update emergency plans.

“Hundreds of thousands of residents were evacuated from their homes in preparation for Irene, and because of the work of emergency personnel at all levels it was done with very few complications,”  he said in a release.

“However, we learned there is still much work to do when it comes to creating a comprehensive emergency response plan for our state. In the event the storm directly impacted our coast, we may not have had the capacity to place residents in shelters for long periods of time. This law will begin the process of identifying and creating additional shelters across the state.”

Evacuation-preparations bill now law