Menendez, Lautenberg Announce Federal Funding To Help Schools In Bergen And Burlington Counties Prepare For Emergencies

Menendez, Lautenberg Announce Federal Funding To Help Schools In Bergen And Burlington Counties Prepare For Emergencies

Federal funding to strengthen and improve emergency response and crisis management plans in New Jersey school systems

Washington - Today, U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) announced that school districts in Bergen and Burlington counties will receive federal funding for safety. Bergen County Special Services School District will receive $250,000, Teaneck Public School District will receive $91,000, and Burlington Township School District will receive $98,500 for a two-year period as part of the Readiness and Emergency Management For Schools (REMS) discretionary grant program to help strengthen and improve their emergency management plans.

"Parents entrust their children to their schools each day, and we have to make sure that the schools are able to effectively protect them in an emergency situation. As the recent swine flu epidemic shows us today, and as 9/11 showed us eight years ago, our school systems must have the capacity to respond as quickly, efficiently, and effectively as possible to all crises," said Senator Menendez. "With this federal investment, school districts will be able to get the support they need to provide the safest environment possible for our schoolchildren."

"When there's an emergency, our schools must be prepared to ensure the safety of every student. These funds will help safeguard our children by providing schools with the tools and resources they need to prepare for and respond to emergency incidents. Investing in these preparedness initiatives will further secure New Jersey's schools and improve public safety in our communities," said Sen. Lautenberg.

Local Educational Agencies will be able to use the federal funding given by the REMS discretionary grant program to develop superior plans that deal with all four phases of emergency management: Prevention-Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery. School districts will review and revise existing emergency management plans by conducting vulnerability assessments of their schools and district facilities, providing training, organizing tabletop exercises, obtaining emergency supplies, and engaging in crisis simulation drills. School districts are required to work with community partners, such as local law enforcement, create a plan to sustain local partnerships after the two year period, and communicate emergency management policies and reunification procedures to parents. More specifically, districts are also required to support the implementation of the National Incident Management System, commit to developing plans regarding special needs populations, and develop a infectious disease plan in case of an infectious disease outbreak.