WEST TRENTON - Governor Phil Murphy and the Murphy Administration are asking New Jersey residents to prepare for a winter storm that will affect the area throughout the day and into tonight. Colonel Patrick Callahan and the New Jersey State Police have activated the State Emergency Operations Center to monitor the winter storm conditions expected to last through tonight.
The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (NJOEM) has been in contact with all 21 county emergency management offices, and members of the Emergency Response Bureau are working with their counties to address any storm-related needs. State emergency management partners have been notified and will continue to coordinate with NJOEM on any traffic and power concerns, and the New Jersey Department of Transportation and its contractors activated this morning with up to 2,500 plows and spreaders available to keep State highways clear and safe for motorists.
“As the winter storm continues throughout the State, our top priority is the safety of our residents” said Governor Murphy. “We have deployed available resources to keep the roads clean and urge people to use extreme caution when traveling.”
"Troopers are ready to assist residents and commuters across the state both on and off of the highways throughout today and into tonight," said Colonel Patrick Callahan of the New Jersey State Police. "We always encourage you to prepare for winter weather. Please use caution when traveling and prepare an emergency kit for use at home and for your vehicle.”
Winter Weather Advisories are posted through Wednesday night for southern counties, and until after midnight Thursday for central and northern counties. Snow, sleet, freezing rain, and rain are forecast today. Precipitation is forecast to start as snow, changing to a wintry mix, then transitioning to rain from southwest to northeast through Wednesday evening.
Impacts to New Jersey
Snow, sleet, freezing rain, and rain can create slippery conditions on roadways, sidewalks, ramps, bridges, and other surfaces. Visibilities may be reduced during heaviest snowfall. A trace to 0.1” of ice is possible for many locations, including I-95, I-195, I-80, I-78, I-280, and I-287. Precipitation may impact the evening commute. Monitor local forecasts for updates in your area.
Follow weather news for local forecasts, warnings, and watches. For those living in Central and Southern New Jersey, visit the U.S. National Weather Service Philadelphia/Mount Holly http://www.weather.gov/phi/. For those living in Northern New Jersey and the New York Metro area, visit US National Weather Service New York, N.Y. http://www.weather.gov/okx/.
Follow NJOEM on social media for important weather updates and safety information: Facebook: www.facebook.com/ReadyNewJersey
Important Tips to Remember
• 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.