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Middlesex Prepares for Sandy

People in flood prone areas should be prepared to evacuate.

With Hurricane Sandy forecasted to strike New Jersey, the Middlesex County Office of Emergency Management and the Board of Chosen Freeholders have mobilized the resources of the County and have been working in close coordination with all our municipalities over the past few days to prepare for this historic and dangerous storm.

“I urge all residents to complete their storm preparations today,” said Freeholder Director Christopher D. Rafano.  “Make sure that you have a family emergency plan, have food and water for 3 to 5 days, a full tank of gas in your vehicle and are prepared for the possibility of prolonged power outages.”

“Municipalities have been clearing storm drains, preparing local shelters, fueling generators and marshaling their resources and equipment,” said County OEM Coordinator John Ferguson.  “At a county level, we have been working with all of the County Departments to ensure that we are ready. We have lowered the levels at the Lake Manalapan dam in Jamesburg and have secured the location of a regional shelter.”

A number of the municipalities in Middlesex County have sections that are flood-prone areas including parts of: East Brunswick, Dunellen, Helmetta, Jamesburg, Middlesex Borough, New Brunswick, Old Bridge, and South River.  If you live in a flood-prone area, you should complete your storm preparations and also be prepared to evacuate.  Your preparations should include:

  • Create a family communication plan:
  • Plan an evacuation route.  If possible, you should make arrangements to stay with family or friends as a first choice.  If not, know where your local emergency shelters are located by calling your Municipal Emergency Management Coordinator
  • Have family disaster supplies on hand and sealed in a water-tight container if possible and be prepared to take these supplies with you in case you need to evacuate:
  • Essential medicines – Emergency Shelters will not have a pharmacy.  You should take a 1-week supply of your medications with you.
  • Baby or infant supplies (if applicable)
  • Emergency non-perishable food and water
  • Cash and credit cards
  • Sturdy shoes and raincoats
  • Change of clothes
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries
  • Make arrangements for pets.  Pets may not be allowed into emergency shelters.  Contact your local humane society for local animal shelters.

Weather forecasters have advised that Sandy will have a storm force wind field of historic proportions.  With most trees still having leaves on them combined with wet saturated ground from 5+ inches of forecasted rain, this will create the potential for a number of trees to be uprooted.  This could cause a massive area of long-term power outages as trees and power-lines come down. 

For those residents who own portable generators, they should remember the following safety tips:

  • Generators should be operated in well-ventilated locations outdoors away from all doors, windows and vent openings.
  • Never use a generator in an attached garage, even with the door open.
  • Place generators so that exhaust fumes can’t enter the home through windows, doors or other openings in the building.
  • Make sure to install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for correct placement and mounting height.
  • Turn off generators and let them cool down before refueling. Never refuel a generator while it is running.
  • Store fuel for the generator in a container that is intended for the purpose and is correctly labeled as such. Store the containers outside of living areas.

For further information please contact your Municipal Emergency Management Coordinator or the Middlesex County Office of Emergency Management at (732) 727-9009.  You can also obtain additional information from the NJ State Office of Emergency Management Agency at www.ready.nj.gov.

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