Would you know what to do if someone wearing a mask burst into your office with a rifle or a vest stuffed with explosives?

The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness has a new program designed to help Garden State residents be prepared for these scenarios.

According to Homeland Security Director Jared Maples, the Hometown Security Initiative is designed to create a more resilient New Jersey by helping local communities be ready for emergencies.

He said representatives of the federal Department of Homeland Security, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security, the FBI, the State Police and local authorities are holding meetings with local businesses and religious groups.

“It’s an open tent idea: everyone can come, everyone can ask questions. It’s a great opportunity for the community to meet those law enforcement and public folks that they may not have much interaction with," Maples said.

He said in today’s world it’s very important to understand what’s going on.

“This is a holistic thing. It’s got to be a whole of community here," he said.

“We want to make sure people are aware of what the threats are and, more importantly, what to do about them. We do bring our analytical cadre out and brief as to what the threats are, what we’re watching for, in an unclassified way, of course.”

More information about the Hometown Security Initiative is available at NJOHSP.gov

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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