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COLD WEATHER PREPAREDNESS
Winter months hold the possibility of icy roads, downed power lines and snow drifts. New Jersey residents should prepare now
for emergencies that cold weather and winter storms can bring.
Simple steps to becoming disaster ready include getting an emergency supply kit, making a communication plan and listening to local instructions.
- An emergency supply kit includes, among other things, essential items to last at least three days such as a battery-powered radio and extra batteries, food
and water, flashlights, a first aid kit, blankets and medications.
- Making a communication plan involves discussing the hazards and threats for your area and what your family would do during an actual emergency. As you create
your plan, decide on a meeting place if your family cannot return home, designate an out-of-town friend or relative as a point-of-contact and plan for the specific
needs of your household, such as an evacuation shelter for pets or transportation for medical equipment.
Before, during and after a disaster, it is critical that you listen for the most local, up-to-date information from emergency officials. Local media will convey
instructions from local, state and federal government partners, such as details about evacuation orders, how to safely stay where you are and when the emergency
WINTER FIRE SAFETY TIPS
- Plug space heaters directly into wall sockets and keep them at least three feet from other objects. Do not leave them unattended.
- Install a smoke detector in every bedroom and one on every level of your home. Check the batteries monthly and replace them annually.
- Clean out dryer vents and be sure they are not blocked.
- If you lose power for a prolonged time, evacuate your home instead of trying to heat it by unconventional methods such as turning on stoves powered by
- For detailed winter fire safety tips, click here.
WINTER TRAVEL TIPS
Proper preparation for safe winter travel starts with a well-equipped car: All cars should be equipped with road maps, a cell phone, a shovel, a windshield scraper, a towrope, booster cables, and a brightly colored cloth to use as a distress signal, and an emergency supply kit (see above). A bag of sand or non-clumping cat litter to spread under tires if stuck in snow is also recommended.
Proper Travel Notification: Drivers should inform someone that they are taking a trip, where they are going, the routes that will be traveled and when they are expected to return. Upon reaching their destination, drivers should call to report arrival. If traveling a long distance, please remember to fill up on fuel prior to making your trip. While traveling, stop frequently to refill the fuel tank.
On the Road: Always follow the rules of the road and adhere to the following guidelines:
ADDITIONAL WINTER TIPS
- Always buckle your seat belt.
- Brake properly to avoid skidding. If driving on snow or ice, start slowly and brake gently. Begin braking early when approaching an intersection.
- If the vehicle starts to slide, ease off the gas pedal or brakes. Steer into the direction of the skid until regaining traction, and then straighten the vehicle. For vehicles with antilock brakes, apply steady pressure.
- Visibility and speed:
- In fog, drive with headlights set on dim or use fog lights.
- In rain, fog, snow or sleet, stay within the limits of your vision. If it is too difficult to see, pull off the road and stop.
- Drive slowly and increase following distance. Vehicle speed should adjust for conditions and match the flow of traffic.
- Watch for slick spots. Be physically and mentally prepared to react.
Learn more about winter safety from the winter weather safety guide which can be found on the official New Jersey Office of Emergency Management website where you can access, download, and print out valuable winter storm related information from the state's foremost emergency management site free of charge and available anytime day or night. Sign up for the NJ OEM Twitter and Facebook pages, by logging onto their Home Page and clicking on Social Media.
Want to receive emergency info on your cell phone? Just log on to NJ Alert and sign up today!
- Make sure that outdoor pets have adequate shelter, unfrozen water and food.
- Driving is most dangerous when the temperature is at or under 32° F. If the road is wet, ice is likely, especially on bridges, ramps and overpasses.
- Even when roads have been treated with salt and/or sand, drivers should reduce their speed and leave a safe driving distance between themselves and other vehicles on the road.
- For special safety tips regarding children’s winter activities, click here.
TOP 23 WINTER SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PEOPLE LIVING WITH PARALYSIS
The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation asked three wheelchair users familiar with cold climate conditions to provide some general safety tips for people living with paralysis this winter season. Read their Winter Survival Tips.
During the winter months, generally starting in December and finishing by the end of March, New Jersey county officials will call a Code Blue when winter conditions pose a threat of serious harm or death to homeless individuals without shelter.
Often, a Code Blue will be called when the National Weather Bureau predicts a wind chill temperature of 20 or 25 degrees Fahrenheit or below or precipitation with temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Once called, county shelters that are able will offer additional beds for homeless individuals seeking shelter from the severe weather and warming centers may be opened to provide a temporary reprieve from the cold. As we are notified of these conditions and receive shelter resources they will be posted here.
GET CURRENT ROAD CONDITIONS.
To access weather forecasts and warnings for your state from NOAA/National Weather Service, click here.
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You are encouraged to dial “2-1-1” 24 hours a day, seven days a week if you need help in understanding and finding available assistance services. Language translation and TTY services are offered to any caller. You can also search our database for services in your local community or Chat Live with an experienced community resource specialist. 2-1-1 will help identify with you the best local resources to fit your individual needs during times of distress or for life’s everyday situations.
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Page last modified on 12.12.13