Christie Administration officials are monitoring a complex coastal storm system expected to impact the State tonight and into early Friday morning, bringing with it snow, mixed precipitation, rain and minor coastal flooding. Snowfall amounts will range from several inches, to as high as 14 inches, across the State. Areas north and west of the I-95 are expected to see the highest snowfall totals.
“We will see conditions deteriorate after midnight tonight,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, State Police Superintendent and Director of the NJ Office of Emergency Management. “We are closely monitoring the situation with our partners from the National Weather Service and the County Offices of Emergency Management; and we are asking New Jersey residents to do the same. Be especially careful if you are on the road; driving will be difficult. Check in with elderly or disabled relatives, neighbors and friends. Those who live in coastal communities should be aware of the potential for high winds and minor coastal flooding.”
The following is a list of general winter preparedness tips, a detailed list of actions to take can be found on the NJOEM website at: http://www.ready.nj.gov/plan/winter.html.
At home: Have your heating system checked by a professional once a year. Make sure your home is properly insulated. Protect pipes from freezing, inspect and flush your water heater, replace smoke detector batteries.
Power Outages: Call your utility to determine area repair schedules. Remember to turn off or unplug lights and appliances to prevent a circuit overload when the power returns. To protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning, never operate generators or use charcoal to cook indoors, In addition, do not use your gas oven to heat your home and only use space heaters with proper ventilation.
Pets: Create a place where your pets can be comfortable in severe winter weather, or bring pets indoors.
In the Neighborhood: If someone you know is elderly or dependent on life-sustaining or health-related equipment such as a ventilator, respirator or oxygen concentrator, make plans NOW to ensure their needs are met during severe winter weather and possible power outages. Check on them after a storm or power outage.
On the road: Winterize your vehicle to avoid breakdowns. Have a mechanic check key vehicle systems. Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle. Always wear a seat belt. Brake properly to avoid skidding. Be alert for snowplows.
Outside: During a snowstorm, stay inside – long periods of exposure to severe cold increase the risk of frostbite or hypothermia. If you must go outside, dress in many layers of clothing with a hat, mittens or gloves, and a scarf to cover your mouth. Most body heat is lost through the top of the head, so always wear a hat. Mittens are better than gloves, because fingers maintain more warmth when they touch each other. A scarf worn over your mouth will protect your lungs from extreme cold.
We are now in the middle of the winter weather season; and the NJOEM urges everyone to maintain situational awareness about winter weather events. Below are resources for staying in-the-know, choose the type that best meets your needs:
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. The NJOEM website contains links to the County OEM social media pages and alerting systems.
National Weather Service – www.erh.noaa.gov/er/phi/
New Jersey Office of Emergency Management – ready.nj.gov
ReadyNJ Alerts & Updates Blog: readynj.wordpress.com