The next generation of Ocean County's defenses against disasters, natural or otherwise, begin to form May 31 on the county's northern and southern ends.

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The Ocean County Multi-jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan meetings in Toms River and West Creek will be taken into account as emergency management leaders update the 2014 version. Mayors, elected officials and local emergency planners are the principal invitees for the sessions, overseen by Ocean County Sheriff Mike Mastronardy

The first runs from 1:30 to 3:30 PM in the Ocean County LIbrary Toms River Branch, 101 Washington Street. The later session runs from 5 to 7 PM in the Ocean County Southern Service Center, 179 South Main Street, West Creek.

Hazard mitigation plans allow municipalities to gain access to state and federal disaster relief funds, to be used when they're most needed.

County officials say that the 2014 plan enabled Ocean County to receive significant recovery funding to contend with the destruction of Superstorm Sandy.

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