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Heights Seeks to Expand Emergency Management Group

Borough continues to improve communications and be better prepared in the event of another emergency like Superstorm Sandy.

Hasbrouck Heights is looking to expand its emergency management group, taking on residents who may have an area of expertise that can be used in an emergency.

Since Superstorm Sandy left the borough without power and therefore limited communications for several days, in some cases nearly two weeks, officials and emergency management have been working towards improving those lines of communication while also making additional improvements to be better prepared in the event of another storm or emergency.

Police Chief Michael Colaneri, who also serves as the borough's Office of Emergency Management coordinator, has encouraged those who may be interested in joining the group to contact him.

They will be asked to fill out a form listing what types of training they may have for which the OEM can use to determine which areas of their expertise can be utilized in emergencies, said Colaneri during last week's work session meeting.

OEM is also having all residents who have special needs update their records so the police department can keep a control list at headquarters to refer to during an emergency. This is also being done for the senior population, said the chief.

Last month the borough formed an Emergency Management Council made up of town individuals, department heads, emergency management personnnel and borough officials.

The police department is also encouraging residents to enter their phone numbers into Swift 911 system part of the county's system which works like Reverse 911. The department will be able to send text message and an automated voice message to phone lines in the event of an emergency.

Mayor Rose Heck said once again she also hopes to establish an alert system by way of a loud speaker on a vehicle informing residents of important information during an emegency.

Those wishing to learn more about joining the Office of Emergency Management can contact the police department.

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