(SALEM, NJ)—Salem County remains in a State of Emergency, with no protective actions required of the public and no travel restrictions at this time. Salem County officials met with local officials on Friday evening to discuss the hurricane’s current track, what steps have been taken, and how the County will coordinate the response with local officials during the emergency.
The Office of Emergency Management utilized the Reverse 911 system on Thursday evening to advise residents in low-lying or flood prone areas to voluntarily evacuate by early afternoon Saturday. Residents are urged to seek shelter with a friend or family in a safe area. Individuals with special needs may wish to consider earlier evacuation. Senior citizens and residents with special needs should contact their local emergency officials as soon as possible if they require assistance.
Salem County has opened mass care shelters this weekend. Utilizing the Red Cross/CERT teams, Salem Community College Shelter was opened on Friday evening, while Schalick High School Shelter will be opened by noon on Saturday. Cots and blankets have been delivered to the locations. As details are finalized for locations, the County will provide it again through this reverse 911 system and local media and emergency organizations. Non- emergency phone calls should be avoided so phone lines are available for emergencies.
The County Emergency Operations Center will open at 6 PM on Saturday. County officials will be actively monitoring the hurricane’s effect on Salem County and responding appropriately.
The County will be utilizing various sources to communicate to residents during the hurricane. The sources include the reverse 911 system, twitter (http://twitter.com/#!/SalemCountyNJ), and a new blog on the County website (http://salemcountynj.blogspot.com/). These resources will be updated regularly throughout the weekend. The public is urged to follow them, in addition to following other resources. Since the new blog was launched on Friday morning there have been over 1000 views.
Residents should contact their local emergency management officials during the Hurricane if it is a non-emergency. Emergency calls should be made to 911. Residents should be advised that emergency responders and public works crews will only be dispatched during the hurricane if conditions are safe enough for travel. We are expecting wide-spread problems throughout the County, especially during periods of high tide. Residents should expect downed power lines, problems with trees, and flooding. Caution should be used at all times. Residents are urged to avoid travel during the Hurricane unless there is an imminent threat.