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Monmouth County OEM – STORM Program for Seniors

Monmouth County OEM – STORM Program for Seniors


Monmouth County Office of Emergency Management “STORM” Program for Seniors.


March 7, 2017 and March 14, 2017 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Eatontown Community Center – 72 Broad Street, Eatontown, New Jersey 07724


Seniors will participate in both sessions where they will discuss the supplies and information needed to plan for an emergency. Seniors will receive a booklet to complete at the first session, which they will bring back to the second session with questions and more discussion. For more information on the program, please read below.


From the Monmouth County – “Monmouth County Equipping Seniors with Emergency Supply Kits”

A new program aimed at helping Monmouth County’s seniors was rolled out in the county on Thursday, giving them an opportunity to receive a free emergency supply kit. 

The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office and Office of Emergency Management developed the program, Seniors Taking on Readiness Measures (STORM), after debriefings following Hurricane Sandy determined that seniors were not prepared when the emergency hit. 

Sheriff Shaun Golden said the OEM received a $30,000 grant to fund the emergency supply kits, which Golden credited the idea to OEM Coordinator Michael Oppegaard.

“It’s good for all hazards, that’s the way we look at it,” Golden said. 

Oppegaard said that they used FEMA’s emergency supply list to determine which items to put in the kit. Some of the supplies include water, a toothbrush and toothpaste, can opener, flashlight and batteries. 

“We looked at it from the stuff we had to provide for folks at the shelter,” Oppegaard said. “Most of the people came with literally nothing.”

Oppegaard said during Hurricane Sandy the county had to get around 2,000 prescriptions filled because people didn’t bring enough supplies with them to the shelter. In order to receive a free emergency supply kit, seniors must fill out a disaster plan booklet, which includes questions about insurance, medications and household information.

“If they do show up empty-handed again, at least if they come with that we can take care of some of those necessities for them,” Oppegaard said. 

Golden said they would be going to senior centers throughout the county to present the STORM program and pass out emergency kits. 

“We’re going to go around the county, senior community by senior community, and we’re going to preach the preparedness and the planning,” Golden said. “STORM provides people with the tools to build a plan in an effort to strengthen resiliency, sustainability and expedite recovery during emergencies and disasters.”

Middletown resident Jackie Errichiello called the emergency kits a “terrific idea” and said she likes the booklets where you can list personal information, including prescriptions. 

“The information is always with you. Let’s face it, every senior has medications,” Errichiello said. “There are a lot of things [in the kit] I probably didn’t even think of.”

Mary Lou Procopio, of Middletown, said she hopes the presentations will get people thinking about preparing for emergencies. 

“When that time comes you don’t think any more about preparedness,” Procopio said. “[The presentation] helps people realize they need the things.”

Although the program is aimed at seniors, Oppegaard stressed that everyone needs to be prepared for an emergency by being informed, making a plan, building a kit and getting involved. 

“If you have to leave your home, you need to bring your necessities with you,” Oppegaard said. “As much as we try to do, we can’t provide every single thing for everybody, from a government’s standpoint, and it’s really a partnership between us and the community. We need to be prepared and each individual needs to be prepared as well, they need to take some responsibility for themselves.