As we all know, our friends and families in Puerto Rico are struggling to recover from the destruction that was brought on them by both hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Today, I signed executive order number 233 so that New Jersey can move more efficiently to respond to the island’s needs by mobilizing not only the New Jersey National Guard, our State Police, and our Office of Emergency Management, but also our municipal county and private sector resources. All told New Jersey will deploy more than 1,100 emergency responders and soldiers to Puerto Rico.
By placing local support under the direction of OEM, this executive order ensures the safe, timely coordinated, and effective delivery of critical personnel and equipment to Puerto Rico so that we do not have individual groups or organizations trying to self-deploy. Under my direction the State Police are launching an operation called NJ PRIDE, Puerto Rico Integrated Deployment Effort.
That will involve a deployment of 600 police, troopers, firefighters and medical personnel over a period of six weeks. National Guard is mobilizing another 500 responders and has an additional 2,500 standing ready if needed and requested by the government in Puerto Rico. NJ PRIDE will be fully self-sufficient and will revive public safety and general police service to a designated and devastated area inside Puerto Rico. An advance team of State Police and state emergency management commanders are arriving in Puerto Rico today and tomorrow to prepare for the full deployment thereafter.
To schedule a delivery of donated items to be transported to Puerto Rico, or for information on how you can help with our efforts, you can call 1-833-NJHELPS, that’s 1-833-NJHELPS.
That line will help to coordinate any donations and contributions that anyone in the state would like to make to this effort. We have seen time again the generosity of the people of our state and more importantly we have been the recipient of others generosity during the fall of 2012 when we were hit so hard by hurricane Sandy.
I want to thank the Colonel and the General they have both been working extraordinarily hard all week to coordinate all of the people across New Jersey who want to help Puerto Rico to do so in a way that will be most effective. I appreciate their leadership and the leadership that other law enforcement folks across the state are giving to sacrifice their time to be able to go down and help the folks that are in need.
So thank you for covering that and I wish Godspeed and the best of luck to all of the men and women from New Jersey who are going to be going down to help folks in Puerto Rico that they stay safe and that they help to bring some comfort to people who are really suffering right now. So you all have a good weekend, thank you very much.