SOMERSET COUNTY, NJ - With the latest forecast for a winter storm warning in effect for 4-8 inches of snow Sunday afternoon through the Monday morning commute in our area, some locals are wagering on the timing of phone calls from area schools. Will Monday be a delayed opening or a snow day? Will the call come Sunday night or Monday morning at 5 a.m.? 

The storm headed our way Sunday is forecasted to be stronger than the one that just came through. According to Weather.com's prediction, there is a 100 percent chance of snow late Sunday into Monday. 

 

“A Winter Storm Warning for snow means severe winter weather conditions will make travel very hazardous or impossible,” the National Weather Service said. “If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency. The latest road conditions for the state you are calling from can be obtained by calling 5 1 1.”

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In the event you lose power, contact your local power provider and not Police Communications unless an emergency exists:

PSE&G: 800-286-9247

JCP&L: 800-285-0515

Help the Department of Public Works with snow removal by removing your vehicle from the side of the road. Do not push snow from your driveway back onto the street and do not call 9-1-1 about snow removal from your street.

Do not forget about your elderly neighbors and clear around the fire hydrants near your house.

 

To help make snow removal safer, the American Heart Association has compiled a list of practical tips. 

  • Give yourself a break. Take frequent rest breaks during shoveling so you don’t over stress your heart. Pay attention to how your body feels during those breaks. 
  • Don’t eat a heavy meal prior or soon after shoveling. Eating a large meal can put an extra load on your heart.   
  • Use a small shovel or consider a snow thrower. The act of lifting heavy snow can raise blood pressure acutely during the lift. It is safer to lift smaller amounts more times, than to lug a few huge shovelfuls of snow. When possible, simply push the snow.
  • Learn the heart attack warning signs and listen to your body, but remember this: Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, have it checked out (tell a doctor about your symptoms). Minutes matter! Fast action can save lives — maybe your own. Don’t wait more than five minutes to call 9-1-1.
  • Don’t drink alcoholic beverages before or immediately after shoveling. Alcohol may increase a person’s sensation of warmth and may cause them to underestimate the extra strain their body is under in the cold. 
  • Consult a doctor. If you have a medical condition, don’t exercise on a regular basis or are middle aged or older, meet with your doctor prior to the first anticipated snowfall.
  • Be aware of the dangers of hypothermia. Heart failure causes most deaths in hypothermia. To prevent hypothermia, dress in layers of warm clothing, which traps air between layers forming a protective insulation. Wear a hat because much of your body’s heat can be lost through your head. 

Heart Attack Warning Signs 

Some heart attacks are sudden and intense — the “movie heart attack,” where it is clear what’s happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren’t sure what’s wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are signs from the American Heart Association that can mean a heart attack is happening:   

  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.   
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.   
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.  
  • Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness .
  • As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

If you experience any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1 emergency medical services (EMS) for rapid transport to the emergency room and treatment. Don’t drive yourself; have someone drive you to the hospital right away. 

 

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