Hurricane Sandy: Make Storm Plans Now, Officials Urge
You'll need water, food and a family plan.
Local officials have been reviewing and updating plans to deal with any flooding or storm damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, if it should strike the area as expected, next week, and are urging residents to make their preparations for the storm now.
Emergency management officials say it's important for families to have an emergency plan, just as the municipality, county and state do. The plan should take into consideration how you'll keep in touch with friends and relatives out of the area, what you'll do if the electricity is out (if you have a generator, make sure to get enough fuel and to check to make sure it's working properly), and where you'll go if you're forced to evacuate.
Hurricane Sandy is expected to meet up with a severe storm from the northwest, meaning a double-whammy of high winds are possible. Residents are reminded to pick up outdoor items and furniture to prevent anything from getting whisked away.
Check trees for dead or broken limbs and try to remove them before the storm—you can control where the branch falls while letting Mother Nature do the job for you could result in damage to your home or vehicles.
Check your flashlights and charge up cell phones and computers ahead of the storm.
It's best to be sure to have a supply of about one gallon of water per person for several days on hand, in case water supplies become tainted.
The American Red Cross also recommend having some non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items, such as tuna fish, peanut butter, crackers and canned fruit on hand (make sure you have a manual can opener).
And check your medication supplies.
Residents living in flood-prone areas, including Green Brook's lower-lying neighborhoods should be prepared to evacuate their homes. Green Brook officials recommend residents vacate properties before water reaches the house.
Anyone in the flood zones planning to stay in their homes is asked to notify police with the address and number of people in the house—in the event of extreme flooding, this information could be life-saving.
And, of course, if flooding does occur do not go around police barricades or drive into standing water.
You can also stay abreast of developments through these websites and social media tools:
- National Weather Service - http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/phi/
- National Hurricane Center - http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
- New Jersey Office of Emergency Management - www.ready.nj.gov
- NJOEM on Facebook: www.facebook.com/READYNEWJERSEY
- NJOEM on Twitter: @NJOEM2010
- NIXLE - New Jersey residents can register to receive messages by sending a text message with their zip code to 888777 (data rates may apply depending on your plan). Online registration is also available at www.nixle.com.
- NJ Alert - NJ Alert is a free, voluntary and confidential emergency alerting system that allows NJ Office of Emergency Management officials to send E-mail or text messages to cell phones, and other email enabled devices during an emergency event. Sign up for NJ Alert by logging on to: www.njalert.gov.
- NOAA Weather Radio - is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service Office. NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts official Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. NOAA Weather Radios are typically inexpensive, easily available in stores and can often be programmed for your specific area. http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/
Green Brook's Emergency Preparedness page on the township's website also has the following information for residents:
The Somerset County website for Emergency Preparedness is very detailed with links to various websites that will be helpful to you and your families as you weather the storm.
To report a power outages, call:
- FirstEnergy: 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877)
- PSE&G: 1 800-436-PSEG Downed wires should immediately be called in to your electric company or local police or fire department.
Never go near a downed power line.