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Assembly Homeland Security and Preparedness Committee Chair Annette Quijano on Tuesday praised New Jersey’s Offices of Emergency Management for spearheading a coordinated and cooperative effort with national, state and local officials to help mitigate the loss of life and property before, during, and after Hurricane Irene.

“I commend the efforts of all state, county and municipal workers who came together and put the safety and welfare of our residents first as Hurricane Irene left a swath of destruction across our state,” stated Quijano (D-Union). “Evacuation plans were implemented effectively and undoubtedly saved the lives of residents and tourists up and down the coast. I’d also like to thank relief workers and volunteers for assisting with clean-up and relief efforts throughout our communities.”

In New Jersey, there have been a handful of confirmed deaths, including one fire fighter. Incidents of property damage have resulted primarily from fallen trees, high flood waters, storm surge, and strong winds.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who lost loved ones during the hurricane and its aftermath,” continued Quijano (D-Union). “I would also like to take this opportunity to remind the residents of New Jersey that September is State Preparedness Month. Given the fact that we are only at the outset of hurricane season, I strongly urge New Jersey families to assess their disaster plans should any additional disasters strike in our area.”