John R. Hagerty, NJSP
(609) 882-2000 x6515
December 28, 2000


W. Trenton - Colonel Carson J. Dunbar, Jr., Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police and Director of the State Office of Emergency Management (OEM) today announced that the New Jersey State Police and the Office of Emergency Management is actively tracking the movement of a potentially strong east coast storm developing off North Carolina. The storm is expected to move toward the northeast late Friday and into Saturday. The developing winter storm has the potential to produce heavy snowfall along coastal New Jersey and some interior sections of the state.

As part of the statewide storm-related preparations, the State Police Office of Emergency Management will activate the statewide Emergency Operations Center (EOC) located at State Police Division Headquarters in West Trenton mid-day on Fri., Dec. 29 through midnight Sat., Dec. 30. The EOC will remain activated beyond Saturday should circumstances require a continued State Police and emergency management response. The activation of the EOC is part of the state Office of Emergency Management's continued responsibilities to monitor and track weather and storm conditions that have the potential to impact the state of New Jersey and to keep crucial state, county and municipal agencies advised of the potential storm conditions.

As of Wednesday (Dec. 27), the state Office of Emergency Management continued to track the developing winter storm through regular updates from the National Weather Service, NOAA and other specialized weather tracking information systems. Regular weather updates are then provided to each of the 21 county offices' of emergency management, the Department of Transportation and the New Jersey National Guard. The OEM will continue issuing regular weather updates and information reminders to state, county and local emergency-related agencies as necessary.

Currently, the National Weather Service reports that the developing winter storm has the potential to produce heavy snowfall over portions of the area. Based on current forecast models, the most likely areas for the heaviest snows would be along the coastal sections of New Jersey. Any shift in either direction would change the area of heavy snowfall.

Col. Dunbar reminded New Jersey residents and visitors to keep a close watch on news reports and to plan ahead before a severe weather situation closes in. "More importantly," Dunbar said, "the public must keep alert and be ready to follow instructions should emergency management officials predict dangerous conditions and move to limit travel or impose other public safety restrictions."

According to Captain Kevin Hayden, Deputy Director of the state Office of Emergency Management, New Jersey's emergency management system is at the ready and in place to help the public safely negotiate any weather-related threat. To avoid becoming a storm victim, New Jersey residents and travelers are reminded to take precautions and to be prepared for any emergency situation. Basic safety reminders and preparedness tips can help get people through a heavy snow storm or weather-related event. Some preparedness tips include:

  • Store drinking water, first aid kit, canned/no-cook food, non-electric can opener, radio, flashlight and extra batteries where you can get them easily - even in the dark;

  • Keep cars and other vehicles fueled and in good repair, with a winter emergency kit in each;

  • Get a NOAA Weather radio to monitor severe weather;

  • Know the warning terms for each kind of disaster:

  • Winter Storm Watch - Be alert, a storm is likely.

  • Winter Storm Warning - Take action, the storm is in or entering the area.

  • Blizzard Warning - Snow and strong winds combined will produce blinding snow, near zero visibility, deep drifts, and life-threatening wind chill - seek refuge immediately.

  • Winter Weather Advisory - Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous, especially to motorists.

  • Frost/Freeze Warning - Below freezing temperatures are expected and may cause damage to plants, crops, or fruit trees.

  • Know ahead of time what you should do to help elderly or disabled friends, neighbors or employees;

  • Winterize your house, barn, shed or any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors, livestock or equipment. Install storm shutters, doors, and windows; clear rain gutters; repair roof leaks; and check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow;

  • Dress in layers when the temperatures drop. Experts recommend wearing several layers of loose-fitting, light weight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water-repellent. Mittens are warmer than gloves. Wear a hat. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs from extremely cold air. Wear sturdy, waterproof boots in snow or flooding conditions;

  • Remember that if you lose your power and are using kerosene heaters to make sure to maintain ventilation to avoid a build-up of toxic fumes. Keep heaters at least three feet from flammable objects and refuel kerosene heaters outside.

Additional weather and winter storm preparedness information is available through the New Jersey State Police Web Page at; the State of New Jersey Web Page at; via WEATHER.NOAA.GOV/PHI; through the NOAA weather radio station or from local media weather updates.

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