LIVINGSTON, NJ – Governor Phil Murphy has declared that New Jersey will enter a state of emergency beginning at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 3 ahead of the expected winter storm. The storm is anticipated to start tonight and continue throughout Monday morning.
Declaring a state of emergency across all 21 counties allows resources to be deployed throughout the state during the duration of the storm.
“New Jersey will be expecting another winter storm today and tomorrow," said Murphy. “The safety of our residents is our top priority, and we urge everyone to be informed of weather conditions and to stay off the roads so that we are able to deploy available resources to clean the snow.”
The National Weather Service has predicted that about five to eight inches of snow is expected between Sunday night and Monday around 7 a.m. in Essex County and surrounding areas.
“A winter storm warning for snow means severe winter weather conditions will make travel very hazardous or impossible,” the statement said. “If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.”
To prepare for the winter storm, the New Jersey State Police will activate the State Emergency Operations Center in order to monitor the storm, according to the governor. The New Jersey Department of Transportation will also deploy more than 2,500 plows and spreaders to keep roads and communities safe.
According to Livingston's snow and ice removal ordinance, all residents are reminded to clear snow from fire hydrants and to remove all snow from sidewalks "within 12 hours of daylight after the snow has ceased to fall." The ordinance states that it is "the duty of the owner, occupant or tenant of any lot, parcel of land, or real property in the township abutting or bordering on the sidewalks of a public street in the township to remove or cause to be removed all snow and ice from the sidewalk area in front of or bordering his lands"
Additionally, residents are reminded that downed power lines can carry an electric current strong enough to cause serious injury or even death. The Electrical Safety Foundation suggests adhering to the following safety tips in the event that you encounter them:
- If you see a downed power line, move away from it and anything touching it. The ground around power lines may be energized as far as 35 feet away.
- You cannot tell whether or not a power line is energized just by looking at it. You should assume that all downed power lines are live.
- The proper way to move away from the power line is to shuffle away with small steps, keeping your feet together and on the ground at all times. This will minimize the potential for a strong electric shock.
- If you see someone who is in direct or indirect contact with the downed line, do not touch the person. You could become the next victim. Call 911 for help.
- Do not attempt to move a downed power line or anything else in contact with it by using an object such as a broom or stick. Even non-conductive materials like wood or cloth, can conduct electricity if even slightly wet.
- Be careful not to touch or step in water near where a downed power line is located.
- Do not drive over downed power lines.
- If your car comes in contact with a downed power line while you are inside, stay in the car. Honk your horn to summon help, but direct others to stay away from your car.
- If you must leave your car because it is on fire, jump out of the vehicle with both feet together and avoid contact with both the car and the ground at the same time. Shuffle away from the car.
Accumulations of snow can also cause the collapse of roofs and trees. Homes and farms may be isolated for days, and unprotected crops may be lost. Stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards, the local radio/TV stations or The Weather Channel for updates, watches, warnings or emergency instructions.
Residents should also avoid overexertion, such as shoveling heavy snow, pushing a car or walking in deep snow. Cold weather puts an additional strain on the heart and can cause a heart attack. Sweating could lead to a chill and hypothermia.
In the event of a power outage, follow these tips from ready.nj.gov:
- Dress in warm, light layers and wear a cap for warmth.
- Close off unused rooms.
- Eat well-balanced meals for energy.
- Use only safe sources of alternate heat such as a fireplace, a small well-vented wood or coal stove, or portable space heaters. Always follow manufacturers' instructions and never substitute one type of fuel for another.
Also remember to check on any elderly neighbors or neighbors who are dependent on life-sustaining or health-related equipment such as a ventilator, respirator or oxygen concentrator. Encourage them to be safe during severe winter weather and possible power outages.
Visit ready.nj.gov for important weather updates and safety information.