LONG BEACH ISLAND
This plan provides for coordinated re-entry of Long Beach Island when necessary during emergencies. All municipalities on Long Beach Island have adopted this plan by resolution
I. SITUATION AND ASSUMPTIONS FOR EVACUATION
1. A hazard analysis and vulnerability assessment has been completed in each Borough and Township on Long Beach Island, which identifies the types of threats, the areas, and populations that are vulnerable to these threats.
2. Efforts are being made to identify special evacuation problems.
3. There is one highway route allowing evacuation from Long Beach Island to inland towns. State Highways 72 and the Causeway Bridge are the only link to the mainland.
4. Due to the geographical nature of Long Beach Island, (landmasses joined by bridges), combined with the forces of wind and water, there is significant potential for large populations of people to become isolated.
5. A comprehensive hurricane evacuation study was completed to determine traffic evacuation clearance times; updated in 2008.
6. Long Beach Island Emergency Management personnel have participated in several emergency evacuations, thus gaining valuable experience in evacuation and re-entry procedures.
7. There are no Red Cross hurricane approved shelters on Long Beach Island, thus necessitating evacuation from the Island during hurricane threats.
8. Hurricane evacuation route signs have been placed along the evacuation routes on Long Beach Island.
9. Travel advisory radio is located in Harvey Cedars. It operates on AM 170. This station is mobile and can be moved to a location in Stafford Twp on the mainland side of the causeway during an evacuation.
1. Emergency conditions may require evacuation of all or part of the Island. Small-scale, localized evacuations may be needed because of a hazardous material incident, major fire, or other incident. Large-scale evacuation may be needed in the event of an impending hurricane.
2. Sufficient warning time will normally be available to evacuate the threatened population.
3. Traffic control resources must be in place prior to the public release of an evacuation order.
4. Evacuation and re-entry information will be made available to the public by all available means.
5. If there is significant potential threat, some residents will evacuate prior to being advised to do so by public officials.
6. Most evacuees will seek shelter with relatives or friends rather than accept public shelter.
7. Some residents may refuse to evacuate regardless of warning.
8. Some people will lack transportation and others who are ill or disabled may require vehicles with special transportation capabilities.
9. Debris or damage to the roadway could hamper re-entry.
10. Effective evacuation should be completed during daylight hours.
11. A delayed evacuation order could endanger lives and result in civil disorder.
12. Evacuation from Long Beach Island will affect adjacent communities as well as communities further inland.
13. The use of the Long Beach Island re-entry placard (mirror hanger) procedure will facilitate an orderly re-entry into previously evacuated areas.
14. Stranded motorists could present significant problems during an evacuation situation.
II. CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS FOR EVACUATION
1. The responsibility for ordering an Island-wide evacuation and re-entry rests with the governing bodies and the emergency management groups from each municipality. If a municipality is to be evacuated, the mayor will issue the order. If the evacuation or re-entry involves more than one jurisdiction, the municipalities affected will issue the order jointly. Each Municipality will activate the provisions of their Evacuation Annex as stated in their Municipal Emergency Operations Plan.
2. Public information concerning the evacuation or re-entry orders will be released through all available media.
3. The incident commander at the scene of an isolated emergency on Long Beach Island has the authority to order an evacuation.
4. Regional coordination of traffic control, shelter/mass care, and public information will enhance the total evacuation and re-entry process.
5. Law Enforcement will implement traffic control for evacuation and re-entry.
B. Specific Operations
1. Movement Control and Guidance
a. Traffic control points to support an Island-wide evacuation have been predetermined.
b. The size of the threatened area to be evacuated will be determined by conditions at the time of the emergency.
c. Access to Long Beach Island will be denied to non-essential personnel once an evacuation order has been issued.
d. Vehicles experiencing mechanical problems during the evacuation will be moved off the roads by wrecker services.
2. Evacuation of Special Populations (Institutions, Facilities, and Special Care Individuals)
a. Institutions on the Island must develop procedures for evacuation.
b. Schools will develop evacuation procedures.
c. Each Municipality will identify special needs populations.
RE-ENTRY MANAGEMENT OPERATIONS
I. SITUATION AND ASSUMPTIONS FOR RE-ENTRY
Following a disaster, when evacuation of Long Beach Island has occurred, roadblocks (control points) will be established restricting re-entry onto Long Beach Island until it has been determined by municipal governing bodies and the Island Emergency Management group, that it is safe to do so.
The following points are essential for Safety during re-entry:
· The provision of minimum access on primary roads
· Reestablishment of emergency services (police, fire, rescue, and medical facilities).
· Removing of utility hazards
A. That a disaster of significant proportions has affected all or portions of Long Beach Island that would initiate evacuation.
1. That damage is such that food, water, and shelter are not immediately available.
2. That damage is such that debris will restrict movement along primary road systems.
3. That damage is such that electrical power will not be available.
4. That damage is such that local emergency and public communications will not be available or significantly reduced.
5. That damage is such that health services, medical facilities, and medical transport will not be available.
6. That law enforcement, fire, and rescue service will be greatly hampered.
II. OBJECTIVES OF RE-ENTRY
A. The primary objectives of post-storm re-entry management is to identify immediate needs of disaster areas and once identified, provide a systematic return to Long Beach Island of human and material resources that will prevent loss of life and stabilize infrastructure so as to start an emergency assessment/recovery process.
B. The secondary objective of post-storm re-entry management is to provide a network of management systems with the ability to control and coordinate emergency operations within municipal jurisdictions and with other assisting agencies.
III. RE-ENTRY PROCEDURE
There is an absolute need to provide access by clearing debris from primary roadways, to reestablish emergency police, fire, rescue, and medical services, remove and secure utility hazards while establishing a minimum of capabilities, and to assess damages in order to manage an effective response. There is also a recognized need for emergency protection measures. Additionally, many outside services will be needed and outside interests will desire access.
Every effort will be made to allow evacuees to return to their homes and businesses. Re-entry to all areas evacuated will be authorized based on public safety and security concerns, the extent of dangers, and operational requirements for search and rescue. The decision to establish general re-entry will be evaluated through continuous coordination among the various municipalities, county and state agencies, and municipal law enforcement. This information will be announced over all available media.
A. Upon cancellation of all hurricane warnings and watches which include Long Beach Island, and when no major damage has been experienced, the Long Beach Island municipalities will jointly authorize re-entry to evacuated areas.
1. Mayors will receive assessment from their respective Municipal Emergency Management officials to determine extent of damage.
2. Department of Public Works officials will assure that primary roads are open and bridges are without damage.
3. If no significant damage to Long Beach Island is sustained then unrestricted re-entry will be allowed.
4. The Island Municipalities may rescind this order at any time upon receiving notice of possible life/safety problems.
5. Public Information announcements will be made regarding the re-entry by all media
B. Upon cancellation of all hurricane watches and warnings which include Long Beach Island, and when significant damage has been noted to affect only one municipality, then the governing body of that municipality will assume responsibility of that area.
1. Restricted re-entry to the damaged area will be at the discretion of the controlling authority.
2. Public Information announcements will be made through the municipal Public Information Officer.
3. All requests for assistance beyond the capabilities of the municipality should be channeled through the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management.
C. Upon cancellation of all hurricane watches and warnings which include Long Beach Island, and when significant damage to more than one municipality has occurred, decisions on re-entry will be that of all the governing bodies on Long Beach Island.
1. Damage to more than one municipality may greatly affect re-entry into surrounding municipalities on Long Beach Island.
2. Collective decisions by the Long Beach Island governing bodies may be necessary to control/assist needs of affected area.
3. Public Information announcements will be made to keep recovery crews, residents and the public informed as to the progress of debris clearance and projected times for re-entry.
4. Re-entry will be determined by priority scheduled as listed below or at the direction of the controlling authority.
a. Emergency Services and road clearing personnel, utility and disaster assessment officials
d. Unrestricted access
5. Re-entry will be jointly controlled/enforced by the Stafford Twp Police Department, Long Beach Island Municipal Law Enforcement Agencies, and the New Jersey State Police.
D. Access control points
Barricading designated access control points on State Highway Route 72 at Marsha Drive and Route 72 at Morris Blvd. East and Westbound can control re-entry to the disaster areas of Long Beach Island and Cedar Bonnet Island. Notification of restricted entry into these areas will be accomplished by the following:
1. All local radio stations to broadcast restricted entry as soon as information is available.
2. All news media notified of restricted re-entry as soon as information is
3. National Weather Service stations notified of restricted re-entry.
4. Automated signs positioned at key routes visitors may transit.
IV. RE-ENTRY IDENTIFICATION
Re-entry placards issued by Long Beach Island Municipalities and Stafford Township will be used to restrict and identify all vehicles and personnel entering onto Long Beach Island and Cedar Bonnet Island.
A. Only Emergency Services personnel with proper identification will be allowed through control points initially. Disaster and utility service personnel with proper identification will be allowed re-entry.
B. Once damage assessment has been completed the Emergency Management groups from each municipality as well as the governing bodies will decide which areas may be repopulated. The island will be divided into three areas:
1. Long Beach Island Central - Surf City, Ship Bottom and Cedar Bonnet Island.
2. Long Beach Island North – North Beach, Harvey Cedars, Loveladies, Barnegat Light and High Bar Harbor
3. Long Beach Island South- Brant Beach, Beach Haven, Holgate
C. Placards are color coded to allow entrance to specific areas only; property owners will only be allowed into the areas for which their placard was issued. Property owners must assess damage and secure their property only. They will not be allowed to assess damage and secure property of others but their own property or properties.
D. Property owners will only be allowed access to their property if it has been determined safe by local officials. A residence must have electrical power, potable water and approved sewage disposal to be judged habitable.
E. Only property and business owners with re-entry permits displayed on the vehicle’s mirror will be allowed re-entry into the areas permitted.
F. All media outlets will be notified as to which areas will be allowed to repopulate.
G. Resident property owners with proper identification who lost or do not have placards will be directed to an area where they may obtain a re-entry placard. Proper identification may consist of a tax bill, or utility bill with a driver’s license.
H. The Governing bodies of Long Beach Island along with the Emergency Management Group as a whole may rescind any/all phases of re-entry at any time.
I. The Stafford Twp. Police in cooperation with other law enforcement agencies will primarily control management of all traffic control points at the causeway bridge.
1. Manpower will be supplemented by Island Municipalities consistent with the needs of the objectives of the control point.
V. STAGING AREAS
A. Staging areas for Emergency Responders and Municipal Government employees will be set up as close as practical to the entrance of the causeway bridge.
B. Emergency Responders and Municipal Government Employees will be allowed primary access back to their respective areas of the island. They will be moved as a group (or small groups) for re-entry purposes.
VI. RE-ENTRY PLACARDS
A. Re-Entry Placards are currently window hangers identifying which section of Long Beach Island the vehicle is allowed to return. The sections are divided up into Long Beach Island North, Long Beach Island Central, and Long Beach Island South.
B. Each municipality issues Re-Entry Placards to property and business owners. One Placard will be issued to each property owner or business owner. Each municipality will mail out the placards to the property owners and business owners. Placards should be kept with the vehicle. Only hang on mirror when needed for Re-Entry.
C. Placards will be valid for four years; at which time municipalities will issue new ones.
D. Property/Business owners who lose their placards may go to their town hall and purchase a new placard upon showing proper identification and a tax bill or lease. The fee for replacement placards is set at $50.00.
E. One placard is issued per property/business owner regardless of how many vehicles owned.
F. No placards will be issued 72 hours before a storm is expected to reach the area.
G. Hardship cases may appeal to their local municipal government in writing for consideration.
H. New property owners may obtain a re-entry placard from the municipality in which they live at no cost. The municipality will verify the new ownership utilizing the tax record database. Renters who are renting homes as a permanent residence may show a copy of the lease to obtain a placard. Placards will not be issued to seasonal rentals.
VII. LONG BEACH ISLAND MUNICIPALITIES
It should be recognized that extreme measures might need to be taken because of political pressure from individuals, businesses, and interest groups desiring access. Legally, the disaster declaration can restrict re-entry as long as the best interest of the health and safety of the public is served.
A. Notification of re-entry policies must be continuous and updated to the public; misinformation must be kept to a minimum.
B. Control points will cause extreme aggravation; all attempts to avoid confrontational situations must be taken.