Press Release

For Immediate Release: August 25, 2011

Union County Office of Emergency Management Advises Residents of Hurricane & Flood Watch

Hurricane makes slight shift to the East, however County can expect severe
hurricane storm force winds of up to 70 MPH and 10 inches of rainfall.

Union County – Office of Emergency Management officials have reported the National Weather Service has issued a Hurricane Watch and Flood Watch today.  Most up-to-date projections have indicated Hurricane Irene has moved to the EAST and is now projected to pass 50-60 miles from Union County.  Previous projections had placed Union County in the eye of Hurricane Irene’s path.

Regardless of the slight shift of the storm, due to the sheer size of Hurricane Irene, the County of Union can expect to sustain 50-55 MPH winds, with gusts reaching 60-70 MPH.  Union County can also expect to receive 6-10 inches of rainfall.

At the time of release, Hurricane Irene has been categorized as a Category 2 hurricane. The Union County Office of Emergency Management continues to monitor Hurricane Irene in coordination with the National Weather Service. The current path of the hurricane is projected to impact Union County as early as Saturday evening and continue to greaten in severity into Sunday.

“Even though the storm has apparently shifted slightly, it’s important for Union County residents to take this storm seriously take the appropriate steps to prepare, especially if you live in an area prone to flooding,” stated Freeholder Mohamed Jalloh, Homeland Security Committee Chairman. “The County encourages residents to sign up with the ‘Union County First Alert’ system so they can receive important hurricane notifications and to visit the County’s website for a Hurricane and Power Outage checklist.”

The best way to avoid major problems is to ensure you are prepared and that 9-1-1 phone lines are utilized for emergencies only.   Residents are encouraged to register with UC First Alert Network athttp://ucfirstalert.org.  The County of Union uses the UC First Alert Network to immediately deliver important alerts, notifications and updates to residents’ email, cell phone, pager and smartphone devices during a major crisis or emergency.

For those individuals with special needs are asked to register electronically with the New Jersey’s Special Needs Registry for Disasters at www.registerready.nj.gov.  The NJ Special Needs Registry is a free, voluntary and confidential program designed to assist people with special needs who may find it difficult to get to safety in the event of an emergency.  Alternatively, they can call New Jersey’s toll-free 2-1-1 telephone service.

In addition to registering with UC First Alert, residents are asked to take precautionary measures such as:

• Pack a Go-Bag, a collection of items you may need in the event of an evacuation.  Items to be considered include, but are not limited to, copies of important documents in a waterproof and portable container, bottled water and non-perishable food, flashlight and battery operated AM/FM radio.  For a full list of items that should be included in your Go-Bag, please visit https://ucnj.org/oem.

• Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture).

• Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances.

• Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and keep them closed as much as possible so that food will last longer if the power goes out.

• For more tips and information visit (www.ucnj.org)

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