New York and New Jersey are still slowly recovering, following Hurricane Sandy. It's important for a comprehensive continuity of operations plan to exist for all cities and towns, ensuring that residents remain safe during emergency situations.

New Jersey residents and businesses still slowly rebuilding after Sandy

During a severe weather emergency, there are many factors that must be taken into account. For leaders of a city or town, it’s important for them to remain as prepared as possible. That way, residents and local businesses will be able to bounce back quickly and return to everyday life as soon as they can.

A recent Huffington Post article detailed how many New York and New Jersey-based animal shelters and rescue centers were affected by Hurricane Sandy. The news source explained that many centers sustained serious damage and further displaced many animals.

In Toms River, New Jersey, only 60 out of 2,600 homes escaped damage. Residents are still unable to return to their homes, according to the AP. Lavallette, a town slightly north of Toms River, started to allow individuals back to their homes last month, although few took advantage of the offer.

Tony Vaz, a Seaside Heights councilman, was also evacuated from his home and had to rent a condo until repairs could be made to his residence.

“I’m looking forward to the 7-Eleven reopening, so when you need cigarettes or a cup of coffee, you can just walk around the corner and get it,” he said. “Little things like that are part of everyday life in a town.”

In order to ensure that the everyday life of a town can continue, even after a severe storm has swept through it, city leaders need to ensure a comprehensive continuity of operations plan is in place. Only with thorough risk analysis can residents and businesses be fully prepared for a number of situations.

Along with evacuation plans, table top exercises can be greatly beneficial. That way, everyone within a city or town will understand what they need to do to keep themselves and those around them safe.