Hurricane season begins Saturday, are you prepared?
As hurricane seasons begins on Saturday June 1 and continues thru November 30, Jersey Shore law enforcement and public officials want to make sure you're prepared for the stormy weather in 2019.
Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden wants all residents to take the proper steps as hurricane season approaches.
“Preparing, planning and staying informed makes dealing with any kind of storm that may affect Monmouth County, much easier,” Sheriff Golden, whose agency runs the Office of Emergency Management, said. “As we approach the hurricane season, now is the time to take those basic steps.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s outlook for 2019 is a 40% chance near- normal season, a 30% chance of an above normal season and a 30% chance of a below-normal season.
While those numbers provide statistical guidance, everyone should keep in mind that it only takes one storm to impact the Jersey Shore to make it a bad year.
Keep in mind that Sandy was a superstorm when it reached the Jersey Shore and not a hurricane but still caused significant damage to our community.
In an effort to ensure the safety and wellbeing of residents during weather related events, the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, OEM, is reinforcing Know Your Zone.
“This information is particularly vital during hurricane season since it is designed to educate residents, businesses and visitors on the coastal evacuation zone in which they live, work or vacation,” Michael Oppegaard, Monmouth County OEM Coordinator, said. “The plan identifies specific coastal evacuation zones (A, B, C and D) that helps emergency management officials target evacuation orders to those areas that are at the most risk, based upon threat, strength, direction and forecasted storm surge.”
For more information, on Know Your Zone, visit www.mcsonj.org/knowyourzone.
Residents and business owners should also take the time to get an insurance check-up.
Calling your insurance company or agent to make sure you have the proper insurance coverages to repair or replace your home after a flood or disaster is critical in ensuring that you can recover more efficiently.
In addition, the sheriff’s office will once again take disaster preparedness a step further by assisting seniors throughout Monmouth County in the event of an emergency or disaster through the STORM program.
Seniors Taking on Readiness Measures, STORM, equips those who are among the most vulnerable population with emergency preparedness information, assists them in creating a family disaster plan, and, provides them with an emergency kit.
The program is going strong since its creation after Superstorm Sandy.
STORM has been presented to 3,000 Monmouth County residents and approximately 2,500 kits have been provided.
“STORM, provides people with the tools to build a plan in an effort to strengthen resiliency, sustainability and expedite recovery during emergencies and disasters,” Sheriff Golden said.
During the program, seniors are given a family disaster plan booklet, which asks for personal, family, work, medical, insurance, emergency & evacuation related information.
Once the booklet is completed, they are then provided with a free emergency supply kit, which includes basic necessities for use during an emergency.
STORM programs can be scheduled by calling the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, OEM at (732) 431-7400.
The sheriff’s office is also urging residents to have emergency notifications and public safety information at their fingertips, through the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office Application (app) for smartphones.
The application is designed for Android and iOS platforms and can be downloaded for free.
The app provides instant access to sheriff’s office related information, which includes real-time emergency notifications through its integrated push notification system that automatically displays the message on the phone.
Users are able to be instantly alerted to weather, or other emergency related situations, from the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office and the agency’s Office of Emergency Management.
“It can be challenging during emergency situations to provide consistent, official messages to a large group of residents," Sheriff Golden said. "In addition to social media and our website, this app is another tool that we utilize to keep the public informed."
SUEZ Water in Toms River wants residents to stay prepared and know what to do should an emergency arise this year and beyond.
They also want residents to know that they are prepared to help them.
"Our teams closely monitor the weather and will be prepared to make any adjustments necessary to maintain residents water quality and service, the integrity of our water treatment plants or supply dams and precious water supplies," Jim Mastrokalos, SUEZ Director of Operations said. "When the National Weather Service predicts a storm, our goal is to respond as quickly as possible to all emergency situations that may arise, rapidly restore any disrupted services and keep the water flowing."
He said particular measures include testing backup generators, ensuring that water storage facilities are full and maintaining an extra supply of water treatment compounds.
SUEZ also works with the Ocean County OEM and preparedness teams to help keep residents safe.
"Many local agencies and organizations team together with SUEZ to prepare for hurricanes and other severe storms," Mastrokalos said. "We also urge our customers to be weather ready by checking personal emergency preparedness plans now."
He said you should also have emergency supplies on hand including flashlights, batteries and food before a storm hits.
"While SUEZ will always do its best to maintain service during an emergency, we encourage our customers to store extra tap water in food grade storage containers," Mastrokalos said.
More helpful tips are available at FEMA.Gov.
More Jersey Shore News: