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Morris County Office of Emergency Management and PSE&G Provide Information to Residents and Municipalities to Prepare for the Next Winter Storm

February 7, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Essex, Morris, Sussex, Union Counties, NJ - The Alternative Press reading areas are gearing up for the impending snowstorm, which some meteorologists are referring to as an "historic storm," especially in the New England areas, where up to 36 inches are predicted. Some meteorologists are already comparing the storm to the Blizzard of '78, in terms of expected magnitude.

Tony Selimo, a meteorology professor from Sussex County Community College, said this today of the expected storm, "The very heavy snow and strong winds are likely to come in tomorrow night [Friday, Feb. 8] for a while, and into Saturday morning, before this system pulls out. We're looking at five, eight, perhaps as much as 10 inches in some spots. That could be adjusted upward or downward, as we get into tomorrow. And then those strong winds as you travel further North and East. Then you're going to be counting this into feet into New England, and less as you go into Southern New Jersey."

"The Morris County Office of Emergency Management will continue to monitor the approaching storm, " said Jeffrey Paul, a representative from the agency. "The latest forecast data which has been provided to us suggests that the snow will begin after midnight tonight. It is anticipated that any snow this evening into early tomorrow morning will be scattered and light. We are gearing up for additional snow, sleet and ice accumulations which will become steadier and heavier towards Friday evening as the colder air moves in resulting in the bulk of the anticipated snow accumulations."
The storm is expected to last over 24 hours, and the Morris County Office of Emergency Management is encouraging all residents to prepare, as well as municipalities, which it is suggested should reach out to seniors and special needs populations, and encourage them to participate in New Jersey Register Ready.  Click here for the New Jersey Register Ready system.  
The Morris County Office of Emergency Management has also provided these tips to prepare for the bad weather:

1 – Go food shopping and make sure you have enough of the important items so you don’t have to go out and travel during the storm. We suggest a three day supply inclusive of paper goods. If you have a pet, make sure you have adequate supplies (they are family too)
2 – Baby supplies (if applicable)
3 – Fill your gas tank. This adds weight to the vehicle which will provide better traction in the snow if driving becomes absolutely necessary. In addition, we learned from Sandy that if the gas station looses power, you won’t be able to access gas unless the station has a generator.
4- Make sure your wiper blades are in proper working condition.
5 – Charge cell phones and other important electronics. Minimize use during the storm in the event that we experience a prolonged storm that impacts power.
6- Make sure you have alternate lighting sources in the event of a power loss. Battery operated lanterns and flashlights are important items to have on hand.  Test all the devices to make sure they are operational and maintain extra batteries.
7- Increase the cold setting in the refrigerator, In the event of a power loss, food will be maintained for a longer period.
8 – In the event of a power loss, use a cooler to minimize the opening and closing of the refrigerator/freezer.
9- Have extra bottled water on hand within your residence. The general rule is a three day supply of water, one gallon per person per day.
10- Have a First Aid Kit on hand in the event of a minor injury and a prolonged emergency response as a result of weather conditions.
11- Fire extinguisher
12- Adequate supply of medications.
13- Multipurpose tool, with pliers and a screw driver.
14- Maintain a battery operated radio or other device (weather radio) to stay tuned to news and other important local information which may be broadcasted by the media and local stations.
15- Maintain sleeping bags or other types of warm items in the event that you lose heat.
16- Maintain a good shovel – Residents who are capable of shoveling could assist seniors and other neighbors who are unable to clear a path to the residence. This will assist local emergency responders in the event that they respond to the residence.
17- Residents can assist the local Fire Department by making sure that fire hydrants are accessible with the snow cleared.
18- Residents can assist local road crews by making sure that residential storm drains are cleared of snow.
PSE&G has also provided information about what to expect with an upcoming storm. The company said on its website (click here for more information), in case of outages, and downed wires, customers can report them to: (800) 436-PSEG. From mobile devices information will also be accessible, with updates if power outages occur to be provided on the company's website, and Twitter Page.
PSE&G said the upcoming storm has the potential to create power outages, offered safety tips as the Morris County Office of Emergency Management did above, as well as the following, in terms of what to do in case of power outages:
Accumulation of ice and heavy snow may weigh down power lines and as a result cause power lines to come down. Downed wires may appear dead but should always be considered “live.” STAY AWAY FROM ALL DOWNED LINES. Do not approach or drive over a downed line and do not touch anything that it might be in contact with. Parents are urged to check for downed wires in areas where their children might play and to remind the children to stay far away from any wires. If a wire falls on a vehicle, passengers should stay in the vehicle until help arrives. To report a downed wire, call 1-800-436-PSEG and tell PSE&G the nearest cross street.
Individuals who rely on electricity to operate life-sustaining electronic equipment, such as a respirator or dialysis machine, should pre-register with PSE&G to receive priority attention in the event of an outage. To request the service, call PSE&G at 1-800-436-PSEG. They should also inform their rescue squads and fire departments of their needs, in case of emergency. Even though customers with life-sustaining equipment who have registered with PSE&G will receive priority attention during outages, they should also have emergency back-up equipment on hand, since immediate restoration cannot be guaranteed.
First check your neighborhood. If you are the only one without power, check your fuse box for tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses. If that’s not the problem, look outside at the wire between your house and the utility pole. If it is down, report it immediately to PSE&G.
For previous stories on the storm by The Alternative Press, see stories for:
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