COUNTY ON ALERT FOR HURRICANE IRENE
(SALEM, NJ)—County officials met this morning to review preparations for Hurricane Irene’s arrival during the weekend. Weather forecasters are predicting that likely paths of the storm involve Salem County and county government is preparing for the worst-case scenario.
“Salem County’s resources have been tested this past year through snow, rain, flooding, and now a potential hurricane,” said Freeholder Bruce Bobbitt, Chair of the County Public Works Committee. “However, whatever Mother Nature decides to throw at us our crews are prepared to do what is necessary to ensure public safety. The public works and engineering departments are already preparing for the Hurricane by ensuring that drainage areas are free from debris, inspecting our waterways, and coordinating with their counterparts in other counties. We will be ready for a coordinated and effective response to Irene.”
Emergency Management officials are coordinating with State and local entities, while keeping a watch on Hurricane Irene’s path.
“Emergency management is not just a county responsibility,” said Deputy Director David Lindenmuth, Chair of the County Public Safety Committee. “In order to ensure that public safety responses are effective it requires the cooperation of officials in all areas of government, along with our residents. Safety begins on the home front. Local emergency management officials will be receiving regular communication from the County Office of Emergency Management. We are reminding residents that they should only call 911 for emergencies.”
Each community emergency management office will decide what their preparations will be for the weekend. The SC Emergency Management Office will be partially staffed during Sunday with remaining staff on stand-by should they be needed. Members of the Salem County Road Department will be on hand to address flooding or debris removal concerns.
Should residents require non-emergency assistance during the storm they are to contact their local emergency management coordinator or police department. If it is an emergency they are to call 911 and report their emergency.
Below are some tips and resources for residents on staying informed during the Hurricane:
On the Web - Use credible websites to get information about natural hazards and emergency preparedness. The NJOEM works closely with the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center regarding storm predictions and forecasts.
National Weather Service - http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/phi/
National Hurricane Center - http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ New Jersey Office of Emergency Management - http://www.ready.nj.gov/ Office of the NJ State Climatologist, Rutgers - http://climate.rutgers.edu/stateclim/
American Red Cross - http://www.redcross.org/ Federal Emergency Management Agency http://www.ready.gov/
Social Media - Social media and other advanced communications technologies are used by frequently by emergency managers statewide. Like the NJOEM on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.
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: http://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.
Traditional Media - Continue to monitor traditional media sources TV, newspapers and radio to stay informed of breaking news and continued coverage of emergency events.
Connect with information sources and stay in-the-know. Learning about hazards in your area, knowing about emergency plans that have been established, and staying informed are the first steps toward being a disaster survivor, instead of a disaster victim.
“We are also reminding our residents that they should take time to plan now to save them from trouble later on,” said Freeholder Director Lee Ware. “By taking some time to plan for the worst case scenario with family and friends, you may be able to save lives and property.”
The County suggests the following readiness steps in preparation for Hurricane Irene:
- “Get a Kit” of emergency supplies – the items that will help you stay self-sufficient for up to three days (72 hours), if needed.
- Three days' supply of canned, non-perishable, ready-to-eat FOOD
- Three days' supply of WATER (a total of three gallons per family member)
- Battery-operated RADIO and extra batteries
- FLASHLIGHT and extra batteries
- One week's prescription MEDICATIONS
- FIRST AID KIT
- Personal TOILETRIES
- Non-electric CAN OPENER and UTENSILS
- SPECIAL NEEDS items:
- INFANT care items
- Items for ELDERLY family members
- Items for relatives with DISABILITIES
- CASH or TRAVELERS CHECKS
- Store important DOCUMENTS in a waterproof, safe location
- “Make a Plan” for what you and your family will do during an emergency – this includes knowing how to evacuate and how to Shelter-in-Place.
- If you are elderly or have special needs, contact the Salem County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) at 856-769-2900. They can make special arrangements for your transportation and check on you regularly if you are at home during an emergency. You should always make plans for your transportation if you and your family need to evacuate. If you do not have transportation, have a plan to carpool with a neighbor or contact OEM. Also, make plans for your pets and consider them in your emergency kit.
- “Stay Informed” of possible threats. Tune into your local media outlets for the latest breaking weather news. In the event of an emergency a battery powered radio is a great tool.
“In the event of a County-wide emergency, residents may receive a reverse 911 call,” said Deputy Director Lindenmuth. “It is important that residents take serious these calls and any subsequent warnings. We are urging residents to use caution when heading out during the weekend. If Hurricane Irene does hit us in Salem County, please do not leave your house and use caution if you must do so.”
For more information on how to properly prepare your household or business, please visit: www.ready.nj.gov/plan/hurricane-before.html or call 211. If you have more questions about Salem County emergency plans, call the OEM at 856-769-2900.