Monroe EMA director helps in post-Sandy New Jersey

COURTESY PHOTO
INFORMATIVE SPEAKING – Monroe County Emergency Management Agency director Bunky Goza speaks to a group in Monmouth County, N.J. shortly after Superstorm Sandy about Monroe County’s experiences after the 2011 tornado outbreak.

Due to his experience with last year’s storms locally, Monroe County Emergency Management Agency director Robert “Bunky” Goza was able to help pay it forward with New Jersey’s EMA in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
“I was honored to be chosen for this incident management team. We basically assisted their EMA office because they were so overwhelmed. This all transpired from an EMAC agreement,” said Goza.
The Emergency Management Assistance Compact is a national disaster-relief compact. EMAC offers assistance during governor declared states of emergency through a system that allows states to send personnel, equipment and commodities to help disaster efforts in other states. The cost of deployment and resources is absorbed by the affected state.
Goza was one of 25 chosen for this particular MEMA team, which was a combination of state MEMA employees, county EMA directors and county emergency operations center employees. Most of the team was deployed to Monmouth County, New Jersey, an area greatly affected by Sandy.
“There was major destruction and darkness as 96 percent of the county was without electricity. To further complicate things, a Nor’easter came along dumping 11 inches of snow on the area. Limbs came down on power lines, knocking restored power out again,” said Goza.
While there, Goza was asked by Monmouth County officials to do a presentation to Colt’s Neck, a business association much like the chamber of commerce, explaining what to expect in the future as far as the recovery process.
“There were a lot of similarities in what we went through with the tornado and what they are dealing with now. The biggest is the impact it had on the people. Many of them were distraught and didn’t know where to turn. They had a lot of questions,” said Goza.
The experience working with other EMA teams was enlightening for Goza as well.
“It’s always good to see how other teams do things in terms of damage assessment. There is always something to learn,” said Goza.