POLICE ADVISORY: BE PREPARED FOR SEVERE WEATHER

Posted on January 23, 2017

Gale-force winds and rain are in the forecast for today into tomorrow.  While your Township emergency responders are ready and local utilities are prepared, citizen preparedness is always key. Flying debris, downed trees and power lines, some flooding and power outages are all very real possibilities, with high winds and the ground already saturated.  Please stay off the roads if at all possible during the storm and avoid flooded areas. Remember: Turn around, don’t drown!

The Montgomery Twp. Police reminds our citizens that they play a critical role in their own safety through preparedness and receptivity to communications and directives.

Here are some ways residents may prepare today:

– Remove or otherwise secure all outside materials which may become airborne during high wind gusts.
– Fill up gas tanks and keep a blanket, flashlight & emergency kit in car.
-Keep cell phones charged and flashlights handy in the event of a power outage.
-If you own a generator, check that it is in working order now. Make sure it is properly ventilated when in use.
– Power outage prep may include storing potable and flushing water, and keeping batteries, food, medications & other needed supplies on hand.

See National Weather Service’s “Before, During and After Winter Storms” pages http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/winter/before.shtml

This is a good time to think through your household’s preparation for an extended emergency and how you can minimize risks for you and your family.  Here are some tips from Ready.gov:

STAY INFORMED, MAKE A PLAN, BUILD A KIT

*Stay informed – Sign up for local emergency alert systems now, listed at our Emergency Info Channels webpage under Public Safety. Make sure you use credible websites/social media for info on natural hazards and forecasts.

*Make a plan – Develop contingencies for the “what ifs.” How will you care for those with special needs? What will you do with your pets?

Decide where you would go if you must evacuate.  Develop a family communications plan in advance. Keep a written record of all important phone numbers with your supply kit.  (An out-of-area phone number may be more easily reached when circuits are overloaded.) More at http://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan

*Build a kit – Stock a supply of items listed in the below linked Survival Guide from NJOEM such as needed medicines and non-perishable foods (rotate out periodically to keep fresh), important papers, and repair/clean-up supplies. Make a portable kit in case you need to evacuate quickly. More info at http://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit.

*Communications without Power – You may find yourself without power or internet connection in a storm, so consider a crank or battery-powered radio, and an extra battery pack or cranking charger for mobile devices. Take note of announcements of the opening of local warming/charging stations.

In an emergency, texting will at times work more reliably than wireless calling due to network congestion. Receive emergency info by subscribing to Montgomery’s Nixle Police Notices – text your zip code to 888777.  Subscribe to Montgomery’s Twitter feed without a Twitter account by texting “Follow InMontgomeryNJ” to 40404.

Newer phones now automatically receive wireless emergency alerts (WEAs) via IPAWS or Integrated Public Alert and Warning System at  http://www.fema.gov/integrated-public-alert-warning-system

Learn more about national alert systems at https://www.ready.gov/alerts

*Consider getting involved – You are needed! Volunteer & receive training in First Aid, CPR, and/or CERT.  There are opportunities with the Montgomery Emergency Medical Squad, Fire Co. 1, Fire Co. 2, as well as CERTs (Community Emergency Response Teams).

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The NJ State Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has an excellent on-line publication (PDF document):

NJOEM Survival Guide

Although created for hurricanes, the preparedness steps described apply to many other types of weather or non-weather emergencies.  Please take a minute to read this document, share with family and friends, and think through your personal storm preparedness.

Citizen preparedness and cooperation are important to maintaining the health, safety and comfort of each member of our community when severe weather or other emergencies happen.

I invite you to contact me at (908)874-3333 ext. 122 or by e-mail at twain@police.montgomery.nj.us with any questions regarding Montgomery Township Emergency Management.

Thank you,

Captain Thomas Wain, Director
Montgomery Township Police Dept.

P.S. To assist you in your household preparation, a summary of this bulletin will remain available on our Public Safety page.