MIDDLESEX COUNTY—With the first named Hurricane of the 2009 season, Hurricane Bill, now building in the Atlantic, the Middlesex County Office of Emergency Management is issuing the following information to help residents prepare for the threat of this, or any other potentially dangerous storm during the hurricane season.
While Bill’s current projected track does not pass directly through Middlesex County, it is possible the county could be impacted by the storm. Even the outer bands of a hurricane can cause significant damage through fierce winds and rain, and sometimes areas not normally prone to flooding, can still be affected given the large amounts of rain that accompany these dangerous storms, officials said.
“The Middlesex County Office of Emergency Management is committed to coordinating response activities and assistance in the county to prepare for, mitigate and respond to potentially harmful situations such as this,” said Freeholder Mildred S. Scott, chair of the Law and Public Safety Committee.
“Even though our county is not in the projected path of the storm, it is still important that we prepare in case these current weather conditions change,”
Before the storm:
• Plan an evacuation route. Be ready to travel 20 to 50 miles inland to locate a safe place.
• Create a family communication plan:
— Pick two places to meet your family should you become separated.
1. Right outside your home in case you must leave your house quickly.
2. Outside your neighborhood in case you can’t return home.
— Ask an out-of-state friend to be your “family contact.” After a disaster, it is often easier to call long distance. If your family members get separated, they should call this person to tell them where they are. Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address and phone number of the contact person.
• Have family disaster supplies on hand and sealed in a water-tight container if possible:
— Flashlight and extra batteries
— Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries
— First aid kit and manual
— Emergency non-perishable food and water
— Non-electric can opener
— Baby or infant supplies (if applicable)
— Essential medicines
— Cash and credit cards
— Sturdy shoes and raincoats
— Change of clothes
• Make arrangements for pets. Pets may not be allowed into emergency shelters. Contact your local humane society for local animal shelters.
• Bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, toys and garden tools, and anchor objects that cannot be brought inside.
• Trim back dead or weak branches from trees.
Hurricane Watches and Warnings:
A hurricane watch is issued when there is a threat of hurricane conditions within a 24- to 36-hour period. A hurricane warning is issued when hurricane conditions (winds of 74 miles per hour or greater or dangerously high water and rough seas) are expected in 24 hours or less. Please pay attention to local weather reports.
For further information, contact the Middlesex County Office of Emergency Management at (732) 727-9009 or your Municipal Emergency Management Coordinator. You can obtain additional information from the Federal Emergency Management Agency at www.fema.gov.
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