Governor Christie Signs Executive Order to Mobilize and Maximize Safe Deployment of Emergency Resources for Puerto Rico’s Hurricane Recovery
Governor Mobilizes 1,100 National Guard, NJSP, Law Enforcement and Local Emergency Crews as Donation Relief Centers Open in Two National Guard Armories
For Immediate Release Contact: Brian Murray
Friday, September 29, 2017 609-777-2600
Trenton, NJ – Governor Chris Christie today is mobilizing more than 1,100 New Jersey emergency responders and soldiers to assist Puerto Rico in recovering from its decimation by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
The Governor signed Executive Order No. 233 to designate municipal and county law enforcement and emergency responders as State Emergency Forces, which will be under the control and direction of the State Director of Emergency Management. These local officials will compliment forces from the New Jersey National Guard, State Police and the State Office of Emergency Management in the safe deployment of critical emergency response resources.
"I committed to the Governor of Puerto Rico that New Jersey stands ready to assist in their time of need, just as so many first responders helped New Jersey in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. We will continue to help Puerto Rico in its recovery from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, offering all available emergency response resources at our command,” Governor Christie said.
Today, the State Police began to deploy an advance team to San Juan, Puerto Rico, as the state OEM prepares to deploy a full complement of police and emergency members. The advance team is comprised of experienced experts in disaster recovery, including in Emergency Management, Field Operations, Special Operations and Communications.
The Governor also announced the mobilization of more than 500 New Jersey National Guard members along with critical equipment to Puerto Rico. New Jersey’s National Guard, under the direction of the National Guard Bureau, also has contingency plans in place to deploy an additional 2,500 soldiers, if necessary, and has 10 percent of its force working on deployment planning.
Governor Christie also announced that two New Jersey National Guard armories will be opening Monday as donation centers to aid hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.
The armories will be used to warehouse donations gathered through a partnership among the state Office of Emergency Management, the Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development and the Governor’s Office of Volunteerism to assist the New Jersey for Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief. The partnership also is working to inform the public of the specific supplies and items needed in Puerto Rico, and how to responsibly donate money and supplies.
“We have seen time and again the generosity of New Jerseyans when disaster has struck elsewhere in our nation, and we wanted to effectively direct this outpouring of support for Puerto Rico,” said Governor Christie. “We have joined with New Jersey for Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief to collect funds and specific items through various agencies in an organized fashion to assure our residents that their donations make it to those who need it most.”
The armories will only store donations collected and organized through governing bodies, corporations, local institutions and recognized community-based organizations. The armories WILL NOT accept any items dropped off by individuals. Because state and federal rescue experts insist the delivery of any donations in disaster situations must be properly organized, only specifically identified supplies will be accepted and every delivery of donations to the armories must be prescheduled.
To schedule a delivery of donated items to be transported to Puerto Rico or for information on how you can help with our efforts, please call 1-833-NJ-HELPS.
Financial donations are being accepted by United for Puerto Rico, the Salvation Army, the Red Cross and the Puerto Rican Congress of New Jersey and its New Jersey Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief to purchase products to quickly and efficiently meet the most urgent needs of disaster victims. When possible, such purchases are made near the disaster site to stimulate the local economy and ensure quicker delivery. All financial donations will be dedicated entirely to Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria Relief efforts.
For more information please visit www.NJ4PR.org.
The following are suggested items that elected officials, community leaders and organizations should collect for donation:
Baby food, batteries, box fans, canned goods, cots, cleaning supplies, diapers, feminine hygiene products, flash lights, flood pumps, hand sanitizer, first aid items, leather work gloves, new underwear and socks, new bed pillows and blankets, toiletries, utility knives and high capacity generators to restore power for hospitals, water service, and flood pumps.