Please read the following information, and plan ahead so you are prepared for an emergency event!
- Family Emergency Operations Plan
- Weather Warnings
- Emergency Alert Stations
- What to bring to a Shelter
- About Pets and Livestock
- Keeping in Touch
- Citizens With Special Needs
- Disaster Supplies Kit
- Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
- Safety Tips for Hurricanes
- Power Outages
- Winter Freeze
- Emergency Preparedness Checklist
- Hurricane Preparedness
Family Emergency Operations Plan
Does your family have an Emergency Operations Plan? If not, you should. Don’t wait until an emergency or disaster strikes before you develop your plan. You really need to identify what type of hazards and potential risks your jurisdiction faces, what you will take with you if you are asked to evacuate, what you will do with your pets and livestock, where you will go if you are asked to evacuate, etc. The information on this site may help you in developing your family’s Emergency Plan.
In Ocean County there are a number of reasons why you may have to evacuate. These include, but are not limited to:
- Natural Disasters
- Blizzard/Winter Storm
- Technological & Manmade Disasters
- Chemical Facility Accident
- Nuclear Facility Accident
- Power Outage
- Transportation Accident
- Act of Terrorism/War
When a weather warning has been announced, you should:
- Make sure your car has enough gas to get you to a shelter, remember traffic likely will be very heavy.
- Clear your yard of loose objects, bicycles, lawn ornaments, furniture, garbage cans, etc.
- Secure your boat
- Check your flashlight and radio
- Take down awnings and umbrellas
- Prepare to evacuate as soon as you are asked to
- “Refill prescriptions, if your supply is low
- Gather items to take to the shelter in case you have to
- Organize your family and let friends and relatives know if you may be evacuated
- Make arrangements for your pet(s)
Emergency Alert Stations
The following Ocean County stations will provide information regarding shelter “locations, evacuations routes and other pertinent information:”
- 92.7 FM WOBM
- 98.5 FM WBBO
- 99.7 FM WBHX
- 100.1 FM WJRZ
- Comcast Cable
- Monmouth Cablevision
What to bring to a Shelter
If you are evacuating to a public shelter, you should bring the following with you:
- Blanket/Sleeping Bag/Pillow
- Lawn Chair/Lightweight Chaise Lounge
- Cash/Credit Card/Checkbook
- Change of Clothing
- Family Documents/Photos
- Birth Certificates
- Insurance Policies
- Other important papers
- Medicine/Prescription Drugs
- Infant Formula/Foods
- Special Dietary Foods
What NOT to bring to a public shelter:
- Alcoholic Beverages
- Guns or Other Weapons
If you are in need of transportation or special help in order to evacuate, you should register with your Municipal Office of Emergency Management now. Having this information ahead of time will help them be better prepared to help you in a timely manner. In an emergency, you can obtain evacuation assistance by calling your Municipal Office of Emergency Management – which is the Seaside Park Police Department at (732) 793-8000, or the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department, Office of Emergency Management at (732) 341-3451 or (800) 331-8152.
About Pets and Livestock
Animals are not permitted in public shelters that are run by the American Red Cross. This is a national policy. This does NOT include service animals. Bringing animals with you when you evacuate can be challenging. You can call the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department, Office of Emergency Management at (732) 341-3451 or (800) 331-8152 to request a brochure with the information you will need to assist you.
Evacuation is a last resort. You will not be asked to evacuate unless the State, County, and/or Municipal Officials feel it is absolutely necessary to provide for your safety. Sometimes, there is no time to evacuate. This is often true in a hazardous materials incident, for example. You may then be asked to shelter “in place”. This means that you stay inside your home or whatever building you are in. Stay away from windows, doors and exterior walls if possible. If there is a threat of a storm this is especially important. Branches, trees and other flying debris is extremely dangerous and could crash through doors and windows or even impale the walls. You may be asked to turn off all ventilation systems (heat and air conditioner) if there is a chemical spill. Listen to your local radio stations, television stations and emergency responders for this vital information.
Keeping in Touch
Many times in a widespread disaster or emergency it is easier to call out-of-state than within the affected area. For this reason it is important to establish one friend or relative for family members to call if you become separated in an emergency or a disaster. It is also a good idea to have a local number as well. This person then becomes the family communicator and can pass along messages and vital information, relieving a great deal of stress and anxiety. Don’t forget to teach children how to make long distance telephone calls.
Citizens With Special Needs
We know that in Ocean County many of our residents may have special needs or need special assistance in an emergency, especially during an evacuation. Developing emergency plans to offer this assistance is challenging to Emergency Management Coordinators because we only have a limited number of sources which identifies these individuals. If you or a loved one might need assistance in an emergency, please call our office and we will send you a copy of the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department “We Care” brochure. The telephone number is (732) 341-3451 or (800) 331-8152. This information is kept confidential and given to your municipal police department, so they can provide assistance in an emergency.
Disaster Supplies Kit
Every home should have one! Each household member should have a supply of the following items, packed in a portable storage container or duffel bag:
- A three day supply of water (one gallon per day per person)
- A list of family physicians, family members, friends and their contact information
- A list of medications
- A supply of non-perishable prescriptions, including dosage
- Packaged or canned food that does not require cooking
- Manual (non-electric) can opener
- The model, style and serial number of medical devices
- A first aid kit
- A battery-powered or hand-crank radio
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Zippered plastic food storage bags for securing important papers and keeping them dry
- Roll of trashbags (can be used for ponchos or to keep supplies dry)
- Cash and coin
- Waterproof matches and candles
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, using the model created by the Los Angeles City Fire Department, began promoting nationwide the use of the Community Emergency Response Team concept in 1994. Since then, Community Emergency Response Teams have been established in hundreds of communities. In Ocean County we now have twelve teams with over two hundred team members.
If a disastrous event overwhelms or delays the community’s emergency response, Community Emergency Response Team members can assist others by applying basic response and organizational skills that they have learned during training. These skills can help save and sustain lives following a disaster until help arrives. These skills can also be utilized during daily emergencies.
Safety Tips for Hurricanes
Enter the season prepared:
- If you live in a coastal area, identify your evacuation route. Your community’s evacuation plan includes designated safe areas, areas to be evacuated during a hurricane emergency, and safe evacuation routes to shelter. Get information on emergency planning in your area by contacting your local emergency management office.
- Hurricanes can cause extensive flooding, not just along the coastline, but far inland as well. Flood insurance is valuable financial protection. You should be aware, however, that your homeowner’s policy does not cover damage from flooding. Check the availability of flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program by contacting your local insurance agent or broker.
- National Flood Insurance Program by contacting your local insurance agent or broker. Your annual preparations for the hurricane season should include checking to see that you have a supply of non-perishable food, drinking water containers, waterproof matches, a lantern with fuel, a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, a battery-powered radio, flashlights, and extra batteries.
Advisories and warnings:
- Thanks to modern detection and tracking devices, the National Weather Service can usually provide twelve to twenty-four hours of advance warning. Advisories are issued by the Weather Service of NOAA when hurricanes approach land.
- A “hurricane watch” is issued whenever a hurricane becomes a threat to coastal areas. Everyone in the area covered by the “watch” should listen for further advisories and be prepared to act promptly if a hurricane warning or evacuation order is issued.
- A “hurricane warning” is issued when hurricane winds of seventy-four miles an hour or higher, or a combination of dangerously high water and very rough seas, are expected in a specific coastal area within twenty-four hours. Precautionary actions should begin immediately.
- LEAVE EARLY – from low-lying beach areas that may be swept by high tides or storm waves. Leave mobile homes for more substantial shelter – they are particularly vulnerable to overturning in strong winds.
- BE AWARE – that some areas my flood long before the arrival of the storm. Your escape may be further complicated by the fact that the high density of population of some areas my require evacuation orders t
- If local government officials advise evacuation of your area, DO SO IMMEDIATELY. Keep your car radio on to listen for further instructions, such as road closures and the location of emergency public shelters.
o be issued earlier than one day before the storm’s arrival. Don’t get caught by the hurricane in your car on an open coastal road.
Getting ready for the hurricane:
- Keep tuned to a local radio or television station for the latest National Weather Service advisories as well as special instructions from your local officials.
- Check battery-powered equipment. Your battery-operated radio could be your only source of information, and flashlights will be needed if utility services are interrupted. Buy extra batteries.
- Keep your car fueled should evacuation be necessary. Some service stations may be closed or inoperable after the storm strikes.
- Store drinking water in clean bathtubs, jugs, bottles and cooking pots, since your town’s water system could be contaminated or damaged by the storm. You should have a gallon of water per family member per day, for a minimum of three days.
- Obtain extra prescription medications and medical supplies. You should have, at minimum, a three-day supply.
- Board up windows or protect them with storm shutters. Windows are broken mainly from wind-blown debris. Wind pressure may break large windows, garage doors and double-entry doors.
- Secure outdoor objects that might become caught in the wind. Garbage cans, garden tools, toys, signs, lawn and deck furniture, lawn ornaments, and a number of other harmless items may become deadly missiles in hurricane-force winds.
- Moor your boat securely well before the storm arrives, or move it to a designated safe area early. Do not stay on your boat or you may drown.
- Be alert for tornado watches and warnings. Tornados are frequently spawned by hurricanes.
- Should your area receive a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately in an interior bathroom or small hallway, preferably below ground-level.
During the hurricane:
- Remain indoors during the hurricane. Blowing debris can injure and kill. Travel is extremely dangerous. Be especially wary of the “eye” of the hurricane. If the storm center passes directly overhead, there will be a lull in the wind lasting from a few minutes to half-an-hour or more. At the other side of the “eye” the winds will increase rapidly to hurricane force, and will come from the opposite direction.
After the hurricane has passed:
- If you are in a public shelter, remain there until you are informed by those in charge that it is safe to leave.
- Keep tuned to your local radio or television station for advice and instructions from local government about emergency assistance with medical, food, housing and other needs.
- Stay out of disaster areas. These could be dangerous, and your presence could interfere with essential rescue and recovery work. Do not use the telephone except for rescue, serious injuries or emergencies.
- Do not drive unless you must. Roads should be left clear for emergency vehicles and debris-filled streets are dangerous. Along the coast, soil may be washed from beneath the pavement or bridge supports, which could collapse under the weight of a car.
- Avoid loose or dangling wires, and report them to your power company or local police or fire department. Report broken sewer, gas, or water mains to the appropriate utility company or service authority.
- Prevent fires. Do not use candles if at all possible. Check buildings for possible collapse or weakened structure before re-entry.
- If power is off, check refrigerated food for spoilage. Do not use tap or well water until you are sure that it is not contaminated.
- Have a hard-lined (not cordless) phone available, as any phone needing electricity will not work.
- Keep extra cash on hand since an extended power outage may keep you from withdrawing money from automated teller machines or banks.
- Keep a supply of non-perishable foods, medicine, baby supplies and pet food as appropriate on hand. You should have a water supply of one gallon of water per person per day for a minimum of three days on hand as well. These items should be replaced every six months.
- Avoid opening the refrigerator or freezer. Food should be safe as long as the outage does not last for more than four to six hours.
- Have one or more coolers for cold food storage, in case the power is prolonged. Perishable foods should not be stored for more than two hours above forty degrees Fahrenheit.
- Have an emergency power supply for anyone dependent upon medical equipment requiring electricity.
- Keep a supply of flashlights, batteries, and a battery-powered radio on hand. Do not use candles, if at all possible, as they can pose a fire hazard.
- Connect only individual appliances to portable generators and never plug a generator into wall outlets.
- Use gas-powered generators in only well ventilated areas.
- When driving, be careful at intersections – traffic lights may be out, creating a dangerous situation.
- Turn off any electrical equipment that was in use prior to the power outage.
- Turn off all but one light. (One light will alert you when power resumes.)
- Check on elderly neighbors, friends or relatives who may need assistance during the outage.
- During a power outage, resist the temptation to call 9-1-1 for information – that is what your battery powered radio is for. Don’t plug emergency generators into electric outlets or hook them directly into your home’s electrical system – as they can feed electricity back into the power lines, putting you and line workers in danger.
- Keep your car fuel tank at least half full (gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps.)
- When power is restored, wait a few minutes before turning on major appliances to help eliminate further problems caused by a sharp increase in demand.
- Most homeowner policies do not cover flood damage. To determine your flood risk, contact your local emergency management coordinator.
- Remember that there is a 30-day waiting period before a flood insurance policy coverage goes into effect.
- Take inventory of all personal items (including model types, serial numbers, photo graphs, and descriptions. Place all important documents in a water-resistant and fireproof box.
- You may need a National Flood Insurance Policy coverage even if you do not reside in a high-risk flood zone. Check with your personal insurance agent or broker.
- Elevate your utilities (e.g. electrical service panel and disconnects, air conditioning unit, water heater, etc.) a minimum of two to three above the base flood elevation. Only a professional licensed contractor should carry out changes that affect the structure of your home or its electrical wiring and plumbing.
- If you have a fuel tank, anchor it to a large concrete slab that can resist the force of flood-waters and floatation.
- Install sewer backflow valves to prevent sewage entry into your home.
- Obtain a battery-powered or hand-cranked weather radio and pay attention to the latest information when unusually heavy rains occur or are forecast to occur.
- Pay attention to flood watches and warnings that are issued by the National Weather Service.
- Never drive your vehicle through flood waters. Water may be deeper than you realize and you could become trapped in your vehicle.
Winter storms pose serious threats to people, pets and property. Extreme cold, freezing rain, snow and strong winds can be especially dangerous. Take precautions to protect your family and your home.
Before the storm:
- Keep space heaters away from flammable materials, NEVER leave them unattended.
- Bring pets indoors.
- When using supplemental heating sources such as fireplaces, kerosene space heaters, make sure you have proper ventilation and a carbon monoxide detector in place. Always take your space heater outside to fill it.
- Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace the batteries every six months
- Move all vehicles inside the garage if possible. Never leave a vehicle running with the garage doors down.
- Prepare an emergency survival kit: battery-powered radio, blankets and sleeping bags, first aid supplies, flashlights, extra batteries, medications and baby items, a three-day supply of water and non-perishable food, pet items.
- Insulate all exposed water pipes outside the home.
During the storm:
- Stay inside.
- Close off unoccupied rooms in the home.
- DO NOT use charcoal burning devices.
- Wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing. Remove layers as needed to avoid overheating, perspiration and subsequent chill.
- Set the thermostat in your house no lower than fifty-five degrees.
- Allow a slow trickle of water to flow especially if the faucet is on an exterior wall. (Be sure both the hot and cold water faucets are flowing.)
- Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes and appliances near exterior walls.
- Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids and eat high-caloric foods.
After the storm:
- Never try to thaw a frozen pipe with an open flame or torch. Shut off water and call a licensed plumber.
- Clear walkways and sidewalks to prevent injury, but use caution to avoid overexertion.
- Identify possible damage to your home.
- Report damage, such as broken pipes and downed tree branches or power lines to the utility company, if appropriate. Avoid the area to prevent personal injury.
- Do not drive unless the roads have been cleared by snow plows. If you need transportation for a critical medical treatment (i.e.. cancer treatment, dialysis, etc.) or a critical prescription filled, call the Seaside Park Police Department at (732) 793-8000.
- FEMA – www.fema.gov
- NJ State Police – www.njsp.org
- Ocean County Office of Emergency Management
- National Weather Service – www.nws.noaa.gov
- Mt. Holly Weather – www.erh.noaa.gov/er/phi
- National Hurricane Center – www.nhc.noaa.gov
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security – www.dhs.gov
- NJ Homeland Security – www.njhomelandsecurity.gov
- New Jersey Office of Emergency Management