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Disaster Response - Emergency Response Committee

The Ocean County Emergency Response Committee (ERC) is a Subcommittee of the County’s Mental Health Board. The ERC was established in the late 1980’s in response to traumatic events that affected our communities. Some of those early issues the ERC addressed include: developing a geriatric task force; responding to and providing education about the tragedy of youth suicide; and reaching out to local clergy regarding trauma in the community.

Over the years the ERC and its Response Team have become more defined in their role and purpose. The ERC seeks to provide for a timely and coordinated response effort ensuring that disaster crisis counseling is available to all victims of traumatic events, regardless of situation or population involved. A response is made only when requested and is never intended to interfere with the natural and existing support systems that are already in place. Protocols have been developed and are strictly adhered to giving the ERC and its Response Team a specific mission, direction, and a clear course of action to follow.

ERC responders have been professionally trained in disaster mental health, incident command and are continually engaged in ongoing education. Ocean County's ERC also participates in the New Jersey Division of Mental Health Services - Disaster & Terrorism Branch's Disaster Crisis Counselor certification process. There are over fifty volunteer members from a variety of backgrounds that participate in this County-wide coordinated effort.

All certified NJ Disaster Response Crisis Counselors (DRCC) are strongly encouraged to attend monthly ERC meetings. ERC meetings are considered open public meetings.