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Public Health Infrastructure, Laboratories and Emergency Response

BioWatch Program Going Indoors
The DHSS BioWatch program is developing response capabilities for an indoor release of bio-terror agents. NJDHSS is developing its response plans in collaboration with the New Jersey State Police and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

BioWatch is an environmental monitoring program that has been operating in many of the nation’s urban centers since early 2003. The program is operated by the federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in cooperation with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The federal BioWatch program was created for early detection of the release of biological agents.

Regional POD Exercises
All 21 New Jersey County LINCS agencies will participate in regional Point of Dispensing (POD) exercises this spring. The exercises are one of the deliverables of the CDC Cooperative Agreement for public health emergencies and are being funded with H1N1 funding. Every LINCS agency will participate in these exercises, which will test the ability of a LINCS agency to open a POD regionally.

Southern Region counties consisting of Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Camden, Burlington and Salem have already successfully completed their regional exercise.

NJOEM and NJ Statewide Independent Living Council Promotes Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities
It’s National Hurricane Preparedness Week, and the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management is partnering with the NJ Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) to promote and improve emergency preparedness for people with disabilities. Planning strategies include increasing the availability of specialized equipment for use during emergencies, strengthening the disaster resilience of social service agencies, and encouraging individuals with disabilities to plan for their own safety. Visit the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management for more information.

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