In a recent interview with Joseph Bruno, Mayor of Berkeley Heights, NJ, we learned a great deal about the needs of municipalities during major natural disasters.
Mr. Bruno has been Mayor of Berkeley Heights for 3 years and involved in municipal government for over 7. During that time, he’s decided there are 2 critical parts of good disaster recovery:
- Have (and practice) a plan
- Set up good communications
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Parts of Berkeley Heights were without power for up to two weeks. The winds of Sandy took down trees, and those mangled area power lines. The municipal buildings in town had no power, lights, or communications.
As Mayor Bruno points out in the video above, the town’s leadership relied on wireless phones and they all had the necessary phone list. The Mayor also pointed out that they set up cell phone and laptop charging stations in the municipal buildings that were running generators.
The Mayor says keeping the lines of communication open with county, state, and federal officials is critical. But do state and federal officials have all the cell phone lists for thousands of communities affected by wide-ranging disasters like Sandy? The answer is no.
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