By MADDY VITALE
Shore residents are no stranger to storms. They know to evacuate when floodwaters rise. They know that safety is far more important than belongings.
And Sea Isle City officials want people who live in the resort to know that if there is an emergency, the Office of Emergency Management is there for them.
Residents with special needs, medical or otherwise, are urged to register with the OEM in the event of an emergency or evacuation, officials said.
The city is updating its emergency call list.
Mike Jargowsky, the city’s emergency management coordinator, said it has been several years since the list has been updated.
“This is a service that we could provide and may well save their lives in bad weather,” he said in an interview Thursday. “We’ve had three tropical storms in the last year.”
He recalled the Aug. 4, 2020, Tropical Storm Isaias, which knocked out electricity for many of the city’s customers. There wasn’t a lot of water during the storm, but there was a lot of wind damage, he noted.
A bad storm can take a tree down, take down a power line and cut off electricity to homeowners.
That is a monumental problem for anyone, especially someone who is on oxygen, Jargowsky emphasized.
“It is good to have an updated list, so that we can reach out to the residents, stay ahead of a storm and not be caught by surprise,” he said.
While the city has had a call list for many years during inclement weather, a new one was needed to ensure that those who need safety checks the most receive them, he said.
“We used to have a list of people who called in to say they were OK,” he pointed out. “We want to be more proactive than that and reach out to them to make sure they are OK.”
The idea to create a current list of homeowners who are most vulnerable was done so through a combined effort of local and county officials.
“We want to get a snapshot of people who are at risk throughout the county,” Jargowsky said. “We want to make sure we have a list of all who may be at risk and need our help.”
Jargowsky, along with Police Chief Tom McQuillen and the city’s Public Information Officer Katherine Custer, worked together to gather information for an updated list, he said.
“If we know a serious storm is coming, we will be proactive and reach out to them. If they call us and leave a name we will also contact them,” he emphasized.
Over the years, the program has kept residents informed of changing weather conditions. And now, more than ever, with more storms prevalent, the program is even more vital, Jargowsky said.
If a person in need of the free service does not use social media, he or she may email OEM or call the city.
To register for this service, email your full name, address, phone number, contact information for your relatives or caregivers, and any special circumstances you have (such as disabilities, oxygen / medical requirements) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also register in-person at the Sea Isle City Police Records Department, located on the first floor of City Hall, 233 JFK Boulevard, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. — or phone the Police Records Department at 609-263-4311 ext. 2242.