The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management has provided these tips to keep in mind in the cold and during severe weather events:
Be prepared! Visit ready.nj.gov for information on how to prepare for: home, work, and your vehicle. Have an emergency kit/go-bag for all three locations.
Pets are family too! Remember to include them in your emergency plans. Visit animalemergency.nj.gov to find out more.
NEVER use a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds, or similar areas, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for ventilation. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can quickly build up in these areas and can linger for hours, even after the generator has shut off.
Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are working before a storm.
Know how to report a power outage to your utility company.
Have cash on hand. If the power is out, so are the ATMs and credit card machines.
Charge your cell phones and try not to use them if the power goes out. Texting uses less power than a phone call, so send text messages to save power if possible.
Be sure to keep an adequate amount of gas in your car.
Be sure to check on friends and neighbors who have access or functional needs.
Need a warming center? Call NJ 2-1-1 or visit www.nj211.org to get connected!
Be sure to have extra medications on hand and keep them in a water-resistant container.
Get all of your vital records and insurance papers together now. Keep them in a water-resistant container. If you can, scan and email them to yourself so you have a copy of important numbers and policies.
Discuss business continuity plans now. Whether you are the boss or report to a boss, discuss your game plan for continued business operations.
Know where your utility shut off valves (gas, electric, water) are and how to use them.
New Jersey State Police will be out on patrol and ready to assist. If you’re on the road, leave early to reach your destination and drive slowly. Remember to remove snow and ice from your vehicle before hitting the road. Please give road crews adequate space to treat and clear roadways. Leave a safe following distance behind other vehicles. For more information regarding driving times and current incidents visit: http://www.511nj.org/
Dress for Cold Weather
Wear loose, lightweight, warm clothing in several layers. Trapped air between the layers acts as an insulator. Layers can be removed to avoid perspiration and subsequent chill. Outer garments should be tightly woven, water repellent and hooded.
Always wear a hat or cap on your head since half of your body heat could be lost through an uncovered head.
Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs from extreme cold.
Mittens, snug at the wrist, are better than gloves because fingers maintain more warmth when they touch each other.
Winter storm conditions and cold waves are the deadliest types of weather as cold temperatures put an extra strain on your heart. Heavy exertion, such as shoveling snow, clearing debris or pushing a car can increase the risk of a heart attack.
To avoid problems, remember these tips:
Stay warm, dress warm and SLOW DOWN when working outdoors.
Take frequent rests to avoid overexertion.
If you feel chest pain STOP and seek help immediately.
During a Power Outage: Safety Tips
Only use flashlights for emergency lighting; candles can cause fires.
Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for approximately 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for approximately 48 hours.
Put on layers of warm clothing if it is cold outside. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. Never use your oven as a source of heat. If the power is out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location (the home of a relative or friend, or a public facility) that has heat to keep warm. Call NJ 2-1-1 for additional resources.
Turn off or disconnect appliances and other equipment in case of a momentary power “surge” that can damage computers and other devices. Consider adding surge protectors.
Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home’s electrical system.